The Taj Mahal at sunset.

The Taj Mahal, in Agra, India, is considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful buildings, and rightly so. Built from white marble, it was commissioned in 1631 by Shah Jahan as a memorial to his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died that year giving birth to their fourteenth child.

For many in India and around the world, the Taj Mahal is an iconic symbol of love. Every stone and jewel used in its construction speaks of the tremendous affection the Shah had for his wife, and his grief at her passing. To many people, the Taj Mahal is the embodiment of love.

What does love look like to you?

Perhaps for you, the epitome of love is the sight of a parent cradling their newborn baby in their arms. Or watching someone gently help their aged father or mother to put on a coat.

Love might look like your spouse cooking your favourite meal for you when you’re exhausted from work. Or a parent working extra hours at a job so their children can have everything they need.

Love may be a picture of a parent staying up all night with a sick child, or singing a bedtime song with them they’ve sung a hundred times before, just because they love it.

To you, love might resemble choosing to forgive friend or family member after they said something thoughtless or hurtful to you. A sibling sticking up for you at school even though you’d just bickered at home may say “love” to you.

Love can also look like a soldiers sacrificing themselves for their country, or someone patiently volunteering to help at a school for disabled children.

Love can take on many guises, but oftentimes involves some form of sacrifice. This is no less true when it comes to God’s love for us.

Jesus on the Cross.

For Christians, love takes on a special appearance:

Love looks like the palm of a hand pierced with nails, as a man was being nailed to a cross.

Love looks this man asking God to forgive those who were in the act of crucifying him.

Love looks like this man, in the hour of his own greatest need, arranging for the future care of his mother.

Love looks like this man sacrificing his life to save countless others from their sins.

To Christians, love looks like Jesus.

© 2020 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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