When You Come Up Short (and it really matters)

aron-920236_640It’s like Christianity sandbox 101: Love.
Right? I mean, it’s the first thing we learn, that God is love
and the first truth we understand, that we should love others.
So, you’d think I could pull it off.
And if you asked me some time ago if I love God,
or if I’m loving to others,
I’d have made squirrely eyes at you and scrunched up my face
in a way that said, “Duh – yes! I’m loving. Where is this question even coming from? I’m a Christian – helloooo.”
But, then I stood in the full-length mirror of God’s definition of love
Corinthians 13
And when I read His standard,
well, gulp,
my life suddenly had a soundtrack by Foreigner:
“I wanna know what love is
I want you to show me
I wanna feel what love is
I know you can show me
I’m gonna take a little time
A little time to look around me
I’ve got nowhere left to hide
It looks like love has finally found me”
According to God,
Love is
Does not envy
Does not boast
Is not arrogant
Or rude
Does not insist on its own way,
Is not irritable
Or resentful
Does not rejoice at wrongdoing
But rejoices with the truth
It bears all things
Believes all things
Hopes all things
Endures all things
It never ends.
Wow, if that’s love, I’m so screwed,
Empty as a pocket,
Four fries short of happy meal,
A partridge in a world without pear trees,
A poser
a cornered mouse in the cookie jar of faith.
There’s a moment of despair.
Real despair
because, seriously,
fifty plus years of following Jesus
and I still don’t know how to love Him?
How seventies.
But then, a brilliant thought occurs
one that ignites hope in
this old-leathered heart –
God is love
And so before I toss myself out with the bathwater
I remember that the love He expects me to display
Is simply a reflection of the love radiating toward me
From His Son.
I can be a moon.
A satellite orbiting the center of the universe.
Love that waxes and wanes
and draws and repels the ocean tide.
That love is coming at me,
It’s at the foundation grounding me,
the river raging through me,
the throbbing pulse in my veins,
Shooting to my mind like so many sparks
that become the thoughts
that move me to acts of love
drawn from a renewable source
that is His open vein.
“I don’t know how to love”
isn’t the epitaph they’ll write on my headstone,
it’s the diagnosis on my medical chart
guiding the Great Physician
to the cure
for what ails me.
He redeems me
And He is infinitely qualified
To re-create me
Into one who loves
Let the fumbling begin . . . the year of loving audaciously – day two

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    The Conversation

  1. Thank you for the reminder that I draw my ability to love from the Source. I am a work in progress!

  2. Anonymous says:

    So many times I tell myself I’m not a loving person. This blog tells me I need only be a reflection of the love of the I AM. I’d better polish up the mirror of myself so I better reflect that love. Thank you, Girl. MOMMA

  3. “a cornered mouse in the cookie jar of faith” Whoever heard of such a thing? And yet the image brings striking clarity. I’m also drawn in and enriched by the “old-leathered heart” description. Yes, I too am thankful that the Redeemer redeems fully we who are frail. Thank you.