My Youth Pastor spoke at our wedding. He performed the ceremony in our field, over looking the beautiful, fall landscape and Mount Mansfield. He spoke on Love. (Big surprise! Right?) He quoted lyrics from secular songs. " I want to know what Love is", "Love; it never hurt so good". An entire society trying to figure out how to do love.
Well, I am adding my 2 cents today to the litany of love experts.
Love. It's not what you think. The romance and the chocolate. The flowers and the sex. It all has little to do with love. I know. Love has more to do with the sacrificing than the receiving. I saw real love in action. As cancer ravaged my mother's body and the memory thief knocked on my dad's door. I saw. In sickness. . .He wouldn't leave her side. A man who never shed a tear in my presence but once. A man prone to forget the Anniversary but not the Football game. A man now desperately trying to find out why such a wonderful woman has to suffer. I saw him meet every need she had. I saw a tenderness I had never seen. I saw love.
Love. It's not what you think. It has little to do with money. (though really someday I wouldn't mind not having to scrimp every penny. But then I wouldn't know what I know) It has nothing to do with looks or the things thrown in our faces by media. I know. Because I have seen love. When my middle was swollen beyond human imagination. In joy. . .When I am angry and bothered and want a vacation from myself. I have seen love. And when the unimaginable happens and the precious is torn from your life and you stand at your sons grave. In Sorrow. . .You see love. You feel love and you know love. And when the doctor returns your call and the diagnosis is cancer and you stare deep into each others eyes and everything you need to know is right there. That's love. And when the effects of chemo and radiation leave you barely able to stay awake or eat and you still go to the Diner because you know that's what she wants and you never complain. That's love.
I Corinthians 13:4
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love has been demonstrated daily since our son was called home. Meals, financial support, hugs, flowers, letters, gifts, cards, acts of service, phone calls; the list goes on. The desire to help us stand when we can't find our way. The fruit of pure love.
Twila Paris~How beautiful, when humble hearts give,
the fruit of pure love, so that others may live. How beautiful. . .Is the Body of Christ.
So if you're looking for love. I am sure "you're looking in all the wrong places". You'll find it when you lay to rest your son. You'll find it when toxic cocktails weave their way through your spouses veins. You'll find it when you give all you have to give and then some more. You'll find it when you take the "I need" out of your vocabulary. You'll find it best when the divine meets the sovereign and you hand over all that you are, all that you need, to the only One that will love you completely.
I will take my hearts in the snow. Hearts on my clothesline and when the weather is too bad, strings of hearts in my living room. I will take the knowing looks. The graveyard visits and dates to the infusion center. I will remove the " I need, or I deserve" and seek to serve with all I have.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.