But have not love

Breakfast in bed. Cereal with blueberries. Scrambled egg. Espresso. Facebook perusing. Bible open. Husband at flag football.

Good Morning, World! This is how I like to greet a Saturday (except perhaps for the part about my husband being gone at football). I have grandiose plans for the day…exercise, cooking, grading, curriculum work, celebrating with friends the completion of my master’s…but it is all on pause right now, as I listen to stillness.

Listen with me…

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”

Have you ever been overwhelmed by the power of love? Frightened, even, by the depth of feeling and lack of control that you experience under the influence of love such as these verses speak of?

This week (and for the past several weeks) I have been witness to love that goes beyond human reason. A dear friend of mine who has battled adoption agency paperwork, many refusals from birth mothers, months of disappointment and heartache, and thousands of dollars received the news this week…she and her husband have been chosen by a birth mother. Their little girl is due December 6. (Click here to read more.)

Another sweet friend and mentor welcomed a gorgeous baby girl into the world, just to have her quickly taken to NICU and hooked up to machines to monitor brain activity. Her physical body and her mother’s soul ache as she tries to love her son at home and stay by the side of her newborn daughter.  (Click here to read more.)

Several childhood friends have recently become engaged and await with impatience the day that they will actually say, “I Do.” Several other brave friends walked away from relationships that were not meant to be and attempt to commit their whole hearts into the Hands of their Maker.

This list could go on and on. Some give up dreams of careers to follow God’s path into parenthood. Others keep on believing despite children with autism, parents will illnesses, spouses unemployed, siblings not walking with the Lord, financial problems that seem insurmountable, seasons of loneliness and isolation that appear unending, fears regarding the future, fears regarding the present.

But, what drives these men and women that I look up to?

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all thing.

Love never fails.”

Last night, I spent several hours at my school’s Homecoming football game. Walking among students that I spent the last 4 years of my life loving and pouring into, I was struck by how much I still care. I embraced boys that are now way taller than me, hugged girls who used to run to my room when middle school drama was just too much for them to handle, laughed with them as they told me how hard Geometry is this year or what it’s like to now be a high school senior. I love them, plain and simple. I hurt for their hurts. I rejoice as they rejoice. I believe in them. Despite the financial, physical, and emotional hardships of the past several years, it was all worth it. I’m by no means a perfect teacher and the conviction that I currently need to give more, love more, care more was very evident. Still, LOVE NEVER FAILS…and I’ve just tasted its power.

What does God’s love feel like? What does it look like to be completely consumed by its power?

I want to know. Want to taste. Want to drink deeply. Want to pour out generously. 

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three: but the greatest of these is love.” 

I Corinthians 13

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