Friday, January 27, 2012

Retro Reality Check: The "L" Word

What’s Love Got To Do With It: A Conversation with God

God, I just don’t get it. Since the beginning of January, all I have seen are pink hearts and naked angels with arrows. Everyone uses the “L” word as if it’s a common commodity and as lasting as red sugar candies. I’ve never been able to say that word easily, yet others don’t seem to have a problem with it. People sing about it, quote poems about it and tell me that it’s all we need.

Since You ARE love, Lord, I thought I’d just ask You about Your thoughts on the subject. I guess what I’m saying is, “I want to know what love is. I want You to show me…”

“My Child, it’s all there, in black and white. Love is…” What, Lord? Please tell me, I really do want to know. Don’t keep me in suspense.

“Love is patient.” Oh. Really? You know I’ve always had a problem with the whole waiting thing. I guess that means that when You have made me a promise that I haven’t received, it’s because in Your love, You want me to learn to wait. That’s really not one of my strengths! And I suppose You are saying I need to apply this in my relationships. You know it’s not easy for me. But please, go on…tell me more.

“Love is kind.” I guess often patience and kindness go together, don’t they? If I picture someone taking care of a hurting child, you definitely need both of these qualities to minister to that child. It does seem that there are many people who find it easier than I do to demonstrate their love, their kindness, and their patience in everyday life. When I compare myself to them, I find myself getting jealous of others and their abilities.

“Love does not envy.” Ok, so I guess if I’m not to be envious of others, I need to stop comparing myself with them, is that what You’re saying? If love does not envy, then love keeps me from judging others and myself, and finding myself lacking in something. You have given me every good and perfect gift. I guess if I’d look through the eyes of love, I’d see that this was true.

“Love does not boast and it is not proud.” Well, that makes sense. If You have given me everything, and I am not to compare what I don’t have with others who seem to have it all, then the opposite must also hold true. I shouldn’t take pride in what I have and boast about it. Because whatever it is, whether it’s material or talents, it all comes from You. And I guess that does away with the whole pride issue too. Ok, tell me more…

“Love is not rude and it is not self-seeking.” This seems like a no-brainer to me, of course love is not rude! Of course, there are always those who are rude without seeming to notice… The other half of that comment is not quite so simple. I have to admit that sometimes in my relationships I have certain expectations. It’s almost an unconscious comparison of what I put into the relationship compared to what I get out of it. I guess what this means to me is that I need to stop putting that kind of a price tag on my love for others. Wow, now that’s starting to hit a nerve.

“Love is not easily angered and it keeps no record of wrongs”. There are times when certain relationships have put me on edge and it’s largely a result of what You and I just talked about. When I feel I’ve put more into something than I’m getting out of it, my feelings become raw and my ego is on the line. I guess I am easily angered at that point. I don’t think I keep a record of wrongs and then my buttons are pushed and I explode. Suddenly I find myself spewing out how I felt I was wronged for the last twenty years! Lord, this discussion is becoming painfully honest, but I know You have more for me to learn. Please go on…

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” Even when the truth hurts? I guess that it is still preferable to evil. I find it hard to believe that someone would delight in evil but I know there are those around us that do. We can even see evil in people who proclaim to love You. Help me to be one of those who seek truth and rejoice in it.

“Love always protects and always trusts.” I admit I have learned to be protective of what is placed in my care by those I have a relationship with. I have learned the hard way to protect the love, trust and confidences that are shared with me because it hurts so much when that protection is not offered in return. However, there are many times I have found it hard to trust others. I guess that’s one reason I have difficulty with the “L” word. When trust is broken, it’s hard to get it back.

“Love always hopes.” Lord, I want to be hopeful and share Your hope with others. I see that You want Your love to renew my trust and hope in those around me. I know this will strengthen my relationship with others. I guess I’m just saying that I really need Your hope because things don’t always look that promising in my world. But what happens when my trust and hope in relationships gets blown out of the water again?

“Love always perseveres.” Always? ‘Always perseveres’, Lord? That’s a tall order. I need to love and keep on loving regardless of what happens, regardless of broken faith and promises? I know I can’t do that on my own. This has to be supernatural love. It certainly isn’t the fluffy stuff mirrored in the pop culture of our world. Thank You that Your love persevered, Lord. I know it was love that took You to the Cross. Help me remember that when I feel like throwing in the towel.
“Love never fails.” There is that “never” word again. It has to be a spiritual power to be able to use a word that is so absolute. Thank You that Your love never fails. Help me to draw on that power when I feel like giving up. Help me remember that every time I fail at living out this type of Godly love.

“Does this answer your questions about love?” Well, yes, but it seems like such a tall order. Your love enables me to love You back, in my own fallible way. Is it even possible for me as a human being to demonstrate this love to others?

“It is possible. Others will know that you follow Me by the love you show them. Do you love Me? Feed my sheep”. It does seem that Your love is more of an action than a feeling, Lord. Help me to be Your hands and feet to a world that needs You.

“Has this answered your question? Do you know now what love has to do with it?” I think I’ve figured it out, God. If I can paraphrase the words of your beloved disciple John, You ask us to love another, for love comes from You. Everyone who loves has been born of You, knows You, and is obedient to You. Whoever does not love does not know You, because You are love.”

“And how do you know this? What makes you convinced in your heart that I am love?” Because, my Father, You loved me so much that You gave to me the greatest gift possible. You gave me Your heart and Your life, in Your darling Son, Jesus. You gave Him to live and die for me, so that when I believed in Him, I could have communion with You as my Father. Now I will not suffer eternal separation from You, but live in Your love and experience the glory of it for the rest of my eternal life.”

“Did you notice what you just did?” No, Father, what did I do?
“You said the “L” word”.

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Reality Check By Lorraine Walker
First Published February 2007 on
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