Bob’s decision was foolish and shortsighted. But Randy just said, “I’m with you, Bob.” Bob wrote, “he didn’t lecture me about how I was blowing it and throwing opportunities away by leaving high school. He didn’t tell me I was a fool and that my idea would fall off the tracks on the way to the launchpad. He didn’t tell me I would surely crater even if I did briefly lift off. He was resolute, unequivocal, and had no agenda. He was with me.”
I found that story to be a remarkable demonstration of love and loyalty. To me it has a couple of implications. The first is that it is a demonstration of the kind of love that God has for us. He didn’t just say he is for us, he came to be with us. He came to experience all of the difficulty and pain and suffering that life has to offer, all that we have to experience in this world, in order to be with us in it. He came to do what is necessary no matter the cost in order to save us from it. Randy’s example reminds me of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made because he loves us. It makes me more thankful than ever for the fact that he is with me.
A second thought that this story produced in me is that it demonstrates that love is always costly. It was remarkable that Randy was willing at a moment’s notice to pull up stakes and go camp out in the mountains with an obviously foolish teenage boy. The fact that it meant he had to leave his brand-new bride whom he loved dearly is astounding. But what limit is there on love? This is the kind of love that makes a difference in people’s lives. Randy’s example challenges me. Who do I love the way Randy loved Bob? Really, who do I love the way Jesus Christ loves me? In the end, if we want to make a difference in people’s lives the way to do that is to love them. It is to love them the way Jesus Christ loves us and the way Randy loved Bob.