Sent not for disobedience or duty, but love

Published 9:33 pm Thursday, March 7, 2019

It happened in the first grade at West Union. Eli was smart enough to wait until his teacher stepped out of the room. He just didn’t expect her to return before he and a friend completed a Kung Fu demonstration in front of the class.

The action was obviously in noncompliance with the rule to “Stay In Your Seats.” The miner infraction to Eli was major to his teacher who sent him to the principal’s office.

As parents, we understood; it was for Eli’s good. Disobedience always carries a cost.

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That “sending” wasn’t nearly as catastrophic as Othel and I experienced the second year of our marriage. We were living on a beautiful bay near Fort Walton Beach, Florida. I had part-time employment as a music teacher for the military base’s daycare while Othel continued his education on the radar operations of the F-4 Phantom jet.

Leaving the rural hills of Etta, Mississippi, to live in a two-story, fully furnished apartment overlooking a picturesque bay wasn’t just life. It was total bliss.

Then bliss turned into disbelief. Official orders were handed out. The military was sending Othel to Vietnam.

The orders were no surprise to Othel but a crushing shock to me who couldn’t imagine a war zone beyond our peaceful way of life. Yet the military never gives options, only orders to be followed. For me, the “sending” was cold and heartless. For the military, the sending was part of a soldier’s duty.

Last week I was reading my day’s devotional when the words of a Bible verse riveted my attention. How many times had I skimmed over the verse,not grasping the impact? “God sent his Son” — not because he was ever disobedient. he was a perfect Son. Neither was the sending a part of the Son’s duty.

God sent his Son — not for the Son’s need but for the lost. The wages of our sin demanded a perfect sacrifice.

And to what did he send him? To the cross. What was the Father’s compelling drive? Love — a love like no other for a sending like no other.

Letters to Camille Anding can be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602, or e-mailed to