These weeks, with their boxes and the changes and the “no you may nots” and the “please just listens” and the consolation prizes of “I know it’s hard, but it takes time” have lead to a culmination of bad days and long nights interspersed with the joy of meeting new friends and setting new traditions of coffee on Tuesdays and girls’ nights to come.
There has been beauty interwoven in the hardship, as any true experience in this life will bring. I try to keep looking for the grace that rises out of the ashes and see the gold strung through the cracks in the porcelain. But it has been wearing. I have found myself wound with anxiety, my chest tight and my hands shaking, waiting for the next shoe to drop.
The renters have a problem in the house that just wont sell…….
The new job is demanding time and the contract isn’t signed yet…….
The boy is fighting himself, the demons of his past breaking through the peace and the battle to keep the sanity is losing…..
The teenager is testing the boundaries and blowing through the limits………….
The girl is picking up the attitude and testing the waters of her character………..
The car search for a commuter has backfired time and again and each week the gas bill rises………..
And I sit in tears and preach to myself to just pray. Ask for the beauty of vision in the small miracles. Give thanks in the little things, like that tipped over bottle of dishwasher detergent that didn’t spill or that cup left in the living room that was knocked over by the baby-it was only water.
So what is the answer? Where is the key to this mayhem and the path to the peace?
I wonder this as I sit here, computer on my lap and thoughts swirling through my head but nothing that sticks to the page. And then I hear it, filtering through the dusty speakers and filling the living room. It is love.
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
My words, they are nothing without the backing of love. The ecstasy and eloquence of these letters on the page and the words from my mouth, they are nothing but the sounds of rust and and fall from my lips like the flaking of metal run dry.
If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
My faith could move mountains, see them heave up their rocks and roots and let the sun pass beneath their great majesty and it will mean nothing. Nothing. If there is not love. I can ask my children to obey, I can believe that Jesus will provide and that all will be well, but if I don’t live by love-it is for not. It does not matter. Because I have no strength if there is not first love.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Bankrupt. Empty. There is nothing to spend, nothing to give. Nowhere to go. My actions are just motions following a pattern in this new setting. My job as a caregiver, empathy feeler and compassion bringer is just a pretty resume with no long-term meaning.
It is LOVE and it is all things encompassed within love. Because love is so many things.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love is powerful. It is beyond oneself and the actions of your hands and instead is the action of your heart. Mind over matter and hope over conquest. Because love is all. If there is love, there is absolute trust, which can overcome any anxiety. With love there is a lessening of self, which releases the bonds of perfection.
With love there is endurance. A race that never ends and where nothing is lost but all is gained.
Love is messy. It is terrifying and it is brave and strong and bends in the storms of this life. And it is worth it.
So love. Love extravagantly. Love like it pours from your heart in a waterfall of giving. Love like nothing else matters-because it doesn’t. Out of all the things we are called to do and all the ways we hope, the gifts that are bestowed and all the blessings that may rain down, the greatest of them all is love.
~These words are from the 13th book of Corinthians.
Today I’m joining up with Jennifer Dukes Lee and #TellHisStory