The Banner of Love

by DanWolgemuth on September 13, 2010

48,000 pedal strokes. That’s what I plan to do over the next forty-eight hours. After doing a little math I figured out that it will take that to complete a 150-mile bike ride. But the ride that I participate in tomorrow and Sunday isn’t about biking, or exercise, or competition… the ride tomorrow with Team YFC is a way to stand with individuals that have been or are being impacted by multiple sclerosis.

The MS 150 that I will be completing will be held just outside of Seattle, Washington. It will rally an army of individuals that want to collectively contribute to the battle against this disease.

With each pedal stroke I intend to remember the father of my dear friend, Mark Jevert, who lost his father to MS. Art was a fine man who had his life cut short by the onslaught of MS. It will be a privilege to stand beside families that have had to endure the full impact of this disease… like the Jeverts.

And I will also be praying for and remembering my good friend, Ray Ibarra. Ray is a friend from our Kansas City days. A man of great warmth, tenderness and joy. MS has attacked Ray’s body, but it’s been held at bay from his spirit. Ray’s laugh, his humor, and most importantly, his love propel me.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that disrupts the communication flow from the brain to the spinal cord. It intercepts and dilutes messages that the brain sends… which impacts muscle movement and coordination.

What a disease may be able to impact… the solidarity of the human spirit can combat. When God’s most beautiful creation… human beings… come together… in unity… with resolve… we stir into action a powerful force. Something even more powerful than medical treatments, chemical solutions… even more powerful than physical healing itself. We demonstrate the capacity to love in the way that God our Father designed us to love. And what love produces, what loves ignites, what love constructs is a fortress that no scheme or attack or enemy can destroy or extinguish.

“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.” ~ Song of Solomon 2:4 (ESV)

Yes, the flag that is flown over the battlefield of every God-honoring endeavor is love. It is unfurled by the wind of pain, suffering, shame, and disappointment… but it stands firm. Undaunted by criticism, by diagnosis, by life expectancy, by the odds, and even by injustice.

Jesus, on the cross at Calvary, tugged the banner of love to its place of prominence… never to be replaced by law or toil or education. Never to be undone by tyrant or scoundrel. Never by disease.

Love conquers all.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” ~ Romans 8:37 (ESV)

So… because of Art’s life and because of Ray’s fight… I will ride. But it is because of love that I can already claim victory.


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