Love is Everything
Who knew one could have a spiritual experience at a High School Wrestling Match?
This was only my second wrestling match. I grew up in a family of all girls, 6 of us. Other than maybe wrestling a sister for a piece of clothing, I was a novice to this sport. I found myself in a prime position on the third row right next to the mat. I was surprised by the gladiator intensity of the sport. Wrestling’s origins are recorded in cave drawings dating over 15,000 years ago in France. The Old Testament is also laden with literary references.
Imagine for a moment, the lights are dimming. The perfume of sweat mingles with an energy that is electric. It’s the state finals so these are the best of the best contenders in every weight class. Two hours in, a divine moment happens.
The name Caleb is heard in cheers exploding from the row in front of me. Two senior wrestlers are battling it out. This Caleb is a scrapper, visibly smaller than his opponent, but lightening quick. We are on the edge of our seats. It becomes tied in over-time. With much perseverance and some truly remarkable moves, Caleb is awarded the winning point to take the match. Following wrestling etiquette, Caleb shakes his opponent’s hand and the hand of his opponent’s coach. The referee holds up the winner’s arm in his moment of glory. But Caleb surprises everybody.
He sprints off the mat and jumps up into the arms of a young man in a dark grey suit, white shirt with a blue tie. Caleb wraps his arms and legs around the gentleman and gives him a hug that lasts an eternity. The crowd is visibly moved. The woman in the row in front of me is filming the scene with shaking hands and streaming tears.
I tap her on the shoulder and ask, “Who is that?”
Smiling, she says, “Those are my boys!”
Two brothers hugging unashamedly. The eldest had driven through the night to be there for his little brother.
It became so much more than a wrestling victory—it was about the revelation of love. Every single one of us in that musty gym was touched.
Love is everything. It is what we are made for. We crave it. We all want to feel Caleb’s joy rushing into the welcoming arms of his brother—pure, unconditional love between two souls.
We long for that kind of love, and we don’t experience it—or extend it—enough. To love and be loved from the pureness of one’s spirit is a miracle. Why must it be such a challenge? So much gets in the way. Fear of vulnerability, rejection, and hurt all build walls around our hearts. Jesus knew our predicament. His whole life was an expression of the truth that only love matters. He wanted us to feel the rush of love often.
In the chaos and despair, if you know that you are loved—you can handle anything. As Jesus said, “all becomes possible.”
What brave step or act can you do to make possible a powerful exchange of love in your own life?
AnneMarch 13, 2023 at 6:22 am
Tasha GreenMarch 13, 2023 at 7:46 am
Love this!! I learned this this school year too!
HarrisonMarch 13, 2023 at 8:47 am
Pat JohnstonMarch 13, 2023 at 8:59 am
As the grandmother of an MBA wrestler this brings me to tears, Farrell.
Thank you for your beautiful wisdom.
Polly KeithMarch 13, 2023 at 11:24 am
The lesson of LOVE finds such wonderful ways to find our hearts. God is so masterful in sharing!! So thankful HE has you to help him.
Diane TuckerMarch 13, 2023 at 1:07 pm
Love this story so much! Hugs!
Celestia ODonnellMarch 13, 2023 at 8:23 pm
❤️❤️ I had a son who wrestled.
Christine ReedMarch 14, 2023 at 7:04 pm
God is love. The most powerful words in Scripture, I think. Where were any of us be without the loving support of someone, or a family or a community? As we receive love, we are led to share it. As we grow in our capacity to do that, often overlooking obstacles and shortcomings, we are led deeply into our souls and closer to God.