One Tattoo You Won’t Find on Jesus

This is a list of redundant phrases:
Unexpected surprise
Same identical
Free gift
Plan ahead
Postpone until later
End result
False pretense
Final outcome
Added bonus
Absolute certainty
Tough love
When did we decide love needed a modifier?
Love – actual love – shoves rusty iron nails into its wrists at breakfast and defeats dragons before noon.
Love – actual love – fears nothing – not the jungles of ‘Nam or the brothels of Thailand, not the boardrooms on Wall Street or the boredom on Main Street.
Love – actual love – breathes the fire of truth at the stronghold of deception.
Love – actual love – bleeds, weeps, suffers, persists, defies logic and imagination in its willingness to sacrifice itself for others.
Love – actual love – never lets us down, always hopes, always believes, always persists, and it never lets us remain unfinished.
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”
20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him.” (Jesus looked at him and loved him. Jesus looked at him and loved him. Did you catch that? Would you expect love now to say, “Well, then, you’re fine.” That’s not what happened.)
“One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
 Mark 10: 17-27
Jesus made all things possible by following the call of the Father’s love and dying on the cross.
All my years growing up, I’d heard people suggest that faith was a crutch. That somehow, only weak people need Jesus.
I remember the day I realized the truth.
Sitting around a table with extended family, processing a sudden death, all of them drinking courage from a bottle, and me – alone – facing the loss sober.
Me, the one they’d called to “please come, we need you to help break the sad news.”
Me, in my weakness and they with their strength imbibed.
I realized I had strength coursing through my veins already
Imbibed at the communion table
when I’d accepted the love of Jesus Christ.
I am weak but He is strong and His love strengthens me.
Free to live life to the fullest – to experience the heights and depths without numbing myself to either.
Love – actual love – is a Navy Seal, a Green Beret, a special forces unit, a warrior, a Marine.
Love – actual love – is a strong tower, a refuge, a fortress, a rock, an anchor, a sure foundation.
Love – actual love – requires no modifier.
There is no need for Love to tattoo “tough” on its forearm.
When love enters a room, we know.
Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the Lord.
 Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love
all the wealth of his house,
he would be utterly despised. Song of Solomon 8:6-7
If you feel love needs to be quantified as “tough,” maybe you haven’t been introduced.
Diamond, carbyne, tungsten, titanium, spider silk – these aspire to be love but fail.
This is the love that amazes me – love unmodified.

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    The Conversation

  1. For God so loved the world he GAVE.

  2. Your insight for truth never ceases to amaze me, Lori. I’ll never think of LOVE the same again. Thank you for allowing God to use you to bless others. Love – actual love – is amazing!