“Awww, you must’ve really missed me this afternoon.” I stretched out my arms and returned the hug, reveling in her childlike affection. That’s when I noticed her glance shifting from my face to the fridge and back.
“Wellllllll, Mommy…” She looked at me with pity and expectation. “I’d really like something cold. You know, with chocolate on both sides and ice cream in the middle.”
“Oh, I get it.” I smiled wryly. “You don’t want me, you want an ice cream sandwich.”
She shrugged, face brightening with her shy, sweet smile. “Ummmm, yeeeahhh…”
I had to laugh. While my daughter has times when ulterior motives overtake her little shows of affection, I have no doubt that she truly loves me. Moments like these are humorous in light of her precious innocence.
But there are those in this world who don’t have such childlike innocence. Ulterior motives undergird their actions and poison their words. It’s not cute or funny when an adult uses love as a guise for selfish ambition. The smallest amount of poison can kill the most tender of hearts.
Have you heard of the woman from Samaria? She’d become so used to men approaching her with ulterior motives, it was expected as commonplace. And she was known for succumbing to their greedy desires. Until one day she met a man who asked nothing of her but water from the well. In return, he offered her water that would never leave her thirsty again—a water of true love from pure motives.
This woman, who’d spent years living to fulfill the insatiable appetites of others, was now filled with an understanding of what love was meant to be. This understanding transformed her life, healed her heart, and gave her renewed purpose. Because we were created to be filled with life transforming love—a love that is pure, and a love that purifies.
“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” (John 4:13-14)