Love is patient, love is kind… It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres… Love never fails… And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
~~1 Corinthians 13
I thought a lot about those verses from 1 Corinthians the last week or so. They are often used at weddings as the example of pure love, of how we are to interact with another, but the full verse is the example of God’s Love for us. But I think they are also an aspiration for many of us, one that I don’t live out as well as I’d like, if I get honest.
I have been a total blogger slacker for nearly a month now and I’m not quite sure where that time went. Let’s see…In the last month I’ve been to or through six states and covered over 2000 miles in that time. I’ve been on retreat, climbed to the tops of some ginormous hills and sat by some glorious fires. I slept outside under the stars and thought I was going to freeze to death one of those nights. I drove an enormous damn moving truck to Florida and then across the state again. I saw my first live alligator and osprey. I took some great pictures, laughed a LOT, cried some and then made some fairly major decisions about some things. It’s been a wild ride, as life often is. But along the way, I was thinking of those verses from Corinthians. I was thinking about how much I’d like to live up to them and how often I don’t. And how that’s where the grace of God always moves, because as it is expressed there, God is patient. God is kind. God never fails. So that means that even when I drop the ball, God is there to catch it, to catch me. I find this enormously comforting.
I love words, love to see what they really mean, as opposed to what I might think they mean. “Love” can be translated in so many ways, going back to the ancients…agape, eros and so on. The word “kind” traces back to the word “kin,” meaning “family,” and traces back from there to share the root word for genus, meaning “to produce.” All of that to say that when Love is kind, it is loaded with meaning. Each small phrase means so much in deep context. True Love produces safety and comfort, the space and patience to produce fruit that can last.
Of course this got me wandering down the lane of my own convoluted thoughts and I have been thinking about Love and God and kindness and patience all week. I’m always trying to balance my gypsy soul with the call to stay in one place…to find the balance between my inner Lover and my inner runner; to forgive the places where I am not patient nor kind with myself or others; to balance my deep, heartfelt desire to be patient and kind with the truth that I drop that ball a lot.
This has been a rough year for a lot of folks I know and they are beginning to wear quite thin in the areas of patience. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Miller Williams,
Have compassion for everyone you meet,
even if they don’t want it.
What appears bad manners, an ill temper or cynicism
is always a sign of things no ears have heard,
no eyes have seen.
You do not know what wars are going on down there where the spirit meets the bone.
In this deep time, I thought I’d pass along some thoughts on Love, from 1 Corinthians 13. If you are so inclined, where you see the word Love, feel free to translate that as “God,” and let those thoughts fill and comfort you.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.
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 never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Peace and blessings to all. I hope this finds all of you resting in the Big Love.
Night moon 🙂