A Life Lesson From Up
Over the weekend, I watched one of my favorite movies, UP. Now, I don’t usually cry at movies – there are only a handful of films that I will openly admit that I have shed tears at, but UP is most definitely one of those select few. I’ll even confess that I ugly-cried just a tad. If you have seen this movie, then you know what I’m talking about.
I have an especially soft spot for Dug, the loyal golden retriever that follows Carl and Russell around Paradise Falls. But whether you’ve seen it or not, we all can appreciate Dug’s trademark saying:
“I have just met you and I love you.”
When I finished watching this movie, after I got done crying and pulled myself together, I got to thinking about Dug and his signature phrase. How many of us can say that we, like Dug, meet someone and genuinely love them?
Although he’s just a cartoon animal, Dug can teach us so much about the love of Jesus. When I see Dug, I see unconditional, loyal, authentic love that applies to any and everyone. Jesus calls us to love everyone, no exceptions. He calls us to say “I have just met you, and I love you.”
However, unlike adorable little Dug, Jesus takes it one step further. Instead of “I have just met you, and I love you,” Jesus says “I have known you, all of you, and I still love you.” At first, this minor change may not seem like such a big deal. You might be thinking “okay, I know Jesus loves me… duh.” But consider all of the things you have done, all the wrongs committed, all of the damage inflicted – now, think about how Jesus intimately knows every single part of that, and yet he STILL loves you.
It is actually easy to love someone when all we know is the good about them, when we have “just met them” like Dug says. The hard part is loving someone despite their ugly, unworthy, sinful history. I love Dug’s impulse to love those whom he has just met. But even more than that, I appreciate Jesus’ ability to love each and every one of us – the good, the bad, and the ugly.