The Love Chapter

Sunday mornings are difficult days for me.  Kenny and I go to church, and participate in worship.  It is in those times of meaningful connection in the presence of others that I am most vulnerable.

If I allow myself to really hear and think about the words of the songs, or connect personally with the pastor's message, I can lose my composure.  So I try to listen as from another room.  I can intellectually connect, but letting this get to my heart is another thing.  I save that connection for home and take time to mull over the scripture and message for the week.

This Sunday, though, I had a massive headache.  All I could do was sit with my eyes closed - which means I nearly dosed off a couple of times.  However, I did hear one of the scripture passages for the day, and it was one that has stayed with me this week.

We used to call it the "love chapter":  I Corinthians 13.  Before marriage, child, adult struggles, it seemed like the feel good passage of the Bible.  This week, the chapter (which I had memorized at one time) became the backdrop for a kind of personal annotation.  My internal monologue is in bold italics.

1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisygong or a clanging cymbal.  It's easy to let anger get the best of me.  Even though I may sound great, I might be raging inside...Saying things the 'right way' is not a substitute for the real thing.


2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faithso as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothingBeing genuine and honest is preferable to pretending that this suffering is a beautiful gift that God has given us.  It's a horrible thing...a "bum deal"...God will get us through this and that's what is beautiful and mysterious...


4 Love is patientlove is kind and is not jealous ; love does not brag and is not arrogantJust when I think I've got it down, something else disturbs my carefully built house of cards.  And once again, I realize...I don't have ANY of the answers.  I only know that God is with us...


5 Love does not act unbecomingly ; it does not seek its own, is not provokeddoes not take into account a wrong suffered, No matter how many times you order us out of your apartment, no matter how many times you accuse us of assault, we take no offense...


6 Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth7 Love bears all thingsWe will not look away...


Love believes all thingsinside, you are still our boy...we love you, you still love us...we can still connect....


Love hopes all thingswe will have strength...


Love endures all things. We will never stop loving you...we will be with you until your last breath


8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away ; if there are tongues, they will cease ; if there is knowledge, it will be done awayThere are some things that cannot be known...


9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a childthink like a childreason like a child ; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. I used to think everything would turn out great...nothing bad would happen, there would always be a "reason"...I know now that everyone suffers, everyone is knocked down, and sometimes we can't get up...


12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face;  I can't see how this will turn out.  I have to trust that God knows and is not caught off guard...


Now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. At some point the light will go on, the room will be bright.  We will understand what we have been through.  We will see our lives as God sees us.  We will walk out of the valley and into the sunshine....


13 But now faithhopeloveabide these three; but the greatest of these is love.  I may lose hope, my faith may falter, but love will always win out. 


Comments

  1. Debbie, I wish I could DO something...to ease your burden and pain, to comfort you, to help you somehow. When I read your blogs, I pray for you. I don't know what else to do. I love you, Kenny, and Lacy. If there is ever ANYTHING we can do to help you somehow, please let us know. In the meantime, we continue to pray.

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    1. Lori, our family's love and support makes it possible for us to keep going. You are a source of joy and comfort every day. When we connect on FB, or you are visiting us, or we are visiting you, we feel so safe and loved. You ARE helping us just by being there and praying.

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