Once more into the fray,
Into the last good fight I’ll ever know.
Live and die on this day,
Live and die on this day.
— poem from the 2011 film The Grey
John Perkins said it right,
“Love is the final fight.”
— The Sound by Switchfoot
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends…”
— John 15:13
Late one evening in Iquitos, Peru, we were sitting in a loud, open-air restaurant with a young missionary couple as they spoke of their love for Christ while jostling their tired, restless little boy back and forth between them. Strangely, Switchfoot’s The Sound was playing overhead somewhere as we were riveted by the young man’s story of salvation and transformation. It was the end of our third day on mission. On the edge of the Amazon River it was hot — blazing hot — and humid. Our days were long, steamy, filthy and still. So still. It was the stillness that could push you over the edge into boiling insanity. “A breeze, a small breeze, please God,” I would often hear myself saying. Yet I was a temporary visitor. In 10 days, my tour would be up. But the young, American missionary couple had made it their life’s dream to speak of the love of Christ in this area. There was no reprieve for them, nor did they pray for one.
Through their story, we learned that this young couple was once the typical, American partying type. Both grew up in bored, middle-class affluence, trying to get their thrills in all of the stereotypical wrong ways. Today, they reach out to the poor and destitute of the slums of Belen, the addicted in the drug holes of Iquitos, and children left orphaned in homes for those rescued from the sex trade industry. They fill their lives and their church with those who come empty handed and desperate.
Why? What happened?
Somewhere in their partying, through friends, they came to believe that God’s love for them was true and that this love was exampled in the work of Jesus Christ. And with this knowledge came a revelation: nothing else could be more important. If God created us for his purpose and provided a way for us to follow him, not only in this life but into eternity, then what else could be more important? What could be more important than spreading this truth? We all know this, but we’re not all ready to go all-in for this knowledge. It’s hard. Giving your life to Christ completely and taking up his work is a lot of trouble. It is a lot of change. And you may end up in uncomfortable places like drug holes and orphanages, befriending and loving broken, shattered people.
But what could be more beautiful? For in Christ we are all brought to fullness.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?c And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
— Romans 10:14–15
We are sent. We should go. Because there can be nothing of more importance than the love of Jesus Christ.
Love is the final fight.