Thursday Thoughts: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
I once heard a woman say, “I don’t care what the question is…love is the answer.” I think she was right.
At the small rural church I attend we have had a series of lessons on christian virtues based on 2 Peter 1:5-11. Each visiting minister spoke about a virtue and last night was the end of the series and it was about love.
Going to church to hear a sermon about love is sort of like going to hear one about sin; you know what to expect. Ministers are for love and against sin.
I’ve mentioned before that I am an avid reader; I devour books. Yet as a writer I know that there are no new stories out there. There are millions of books in the world and no new plots, so why do I keep reading? Because every individual tells the story differently.
I went to church thinking I knew what the minister was going to say, but I didn’t. Yes, he talked about love. Yes, he was for it. Yes, he quoted from 1 Corinthians 13. But the stories he told and the way he presented it touched me so that several times during the sermon I felt tears sliding down my cheeks.
I can’t quote verbatim what he said but he began by talking about the word “love” itself and how we throw it around like a Frisbee. “I love donuts,” he said. “I love sleeping in on Saturday. I love rain when it’s dry and sunshine when we have had too much rain.” (While he’s saying this I’m sitting there thinking “I love cheese cake.”)
“But love is more than a feeling,” he said. “It’s something we do.”
He went on to tell the story of someone he had read about who went to the nursing home every morning to bath his wife of 60 years, change her bed and feed her breakfast. I looked across the aisle at a friend whose husband has Alzheimer and is in the nursing home. I see her heading out every morning and I know she is on her way to visit a husband who often doesn’t remember her.
Next he told about a man who when a earthquake crumbled the school his son attended he dug through the rubble with his bare hands for 15 hours, until his hands were bloodied and raw, to find his little boy. Other parents stood by and watched and told him his digging was futile, that it was obvious that all the children were dead, but he kept digging. After 15 hours the man heard the word, “Daddy?” and knew that it was his son. Later the little boy told him, “I told the other children you would come because you promised you would never leave me.”
I thought about a friend who recently had a miscarriage and another lady whose little girl has been on a ventilator for months. I thought about the children in Pakistan who have no food or drinking water due to the flooding and the little girl we sponsor in Guatemala whose father left her and her siblings years ago for her mother and sick grandmother to raise and wondered how I show (not just tell) them that God loves them and so do I.
All the talk about love started me thinking about marriage…probably because we have an anniversary coming up.
Today in the United States more than half of the couples who promise to love, honor and cherish each other until death they do part, won’t honor that commitment. How I wish they could have heard the sermon I heard last night!
In 1979 I met my future husband and in 1980 Bill and I were married. We celebrate our 30th anniversary on August 30th. If you had asked me in 1980 to define how much I loved Bill and the way I loved him, the answer would be different from the one you would get now. The experiences, the highs (the births of our five children, our daughter’s wedding, our precious grandchild) and the lows (the death of his father, his brother and my mom and dad), bind you together in a way that truly make two into one. I loved him in 1980 and 30 years later I love him even more.
Love isn’t just a noun (a feeling). It should also be a verb (an action). So what does love have to do with it? (and yes, that’s a song) In my opinion….everything!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
2 Peter 1:5-11
- 5.And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to your virtue knowledge: 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren F3 nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.