“Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31
Skipper commands us ter love him with all our heart. Some of us been in love. We know how a feller’s heart aches ter be with tha one he loves. We should ache fer Skipper in tha same way he aches ter be with us.
Skipper commands us ter love him with all our soul, tha very part of us that last fer ever and ever and never goes away. Soul love be deep and that be what Skip asks—ter be his soul mate fer ever.
Skipper commands us ter love him with all our mind, keep him in all our thoughts, be thinking of him at all times. When ya be in love, ya kin ne’er stop thinking ‘bout yer love mate. Skipper be asking fer us ter be thinking on him all tha time—not ‘cause he commands it, but ‘cause we kin do nothing but ter think on him.
Skipper commands us ter love him with ever bit of strength we got. Sometimes love be hard. Sometimes love requires we pick Skip over something else, someone else, even over our self. Buck up. Show yer starch. Love Skip like he be tha thing ya love more’n all tha world.
Lastly, ya may have noticed yer self be at tha end of tha list. Folks like us be inclined ter heel towards our own tack and tacky self rather than Skipper. And if we don’ love Skipper we sure as salt not be able ter love our neighbor tha way Skip wants.
A good many folks get tha Son’s words out of order. They hear “Love your neighbor as yourself.” and think “how would I want to be loved?” Folks who think along these lines might be nice ter folks, but nice not always be love. Be nice ter lice and even tha mice ‘ill jump ship.
Tha Son says love not work tha way reprobates think. We don’ love ourself first, then our bunk neighbor, then Skip. We love Skip first, next our neighbor, then our self.
Get tha order right and ya kin love tha way Skip loves. Get tha order wrong and ya love tha way that old black-hearted scoundrel, the devil loves—and he don’ love a soul ‘cept himself.