“Love does not…boast; it is not arrogant, or rude…” -1 Corinthians 13
I was walking high up on a river bank while the sun was sinking low. The tall un-mown grass was swaying in the evening breeze, transporting me in my imagination to a slow motion video playing in my mind complete with guitar chords from a favorite tune and aching vocals about to begin, when…a terrible crunching sound followed by the signal wailing cry told my mama radar, *this is not a test*. Compassion certainly jump started me, but even as I ran to help, a nagging withdrawal in my chest spoke the truth, I just wanted a peaceful walk tonight.
Beauty will save the world. I claim to actually believe this—passionately. Yet this is a lesson long in the learning for me: beauty isn’t always obvious.
To have eyes that see past nostalgia, eyes turned away from what might be or could be to what is here, now. To have vision beyond my own ambitions and more than that, vision beyond this tired moment…somedays, a lot of days, this is the stuff of miracles.
I know I’m not alone, and I know this has more to do with an ache for belonging than it does a desire to exert power, or find some sense of control—but we all know that’s how it shows up sometimes.
In truth, we all have places we want to go with the people we love, when that place is right here, right now there is a luminance with such radiance from the key hole that unlocks that door lighting the way we’d never believe. But when that place is an escape out of the present forwards or back we are never more tempted to stumbling into the darkness that is love-that-boasts or is arrogant or rude, because this longing is a need we mistakenly try to force to be met. Here we are tempted to act more animal, than human.
But love-that-sees knows there is a space in each heart waiting for tenderness, sacrifice, a loss of self to be found in that undiscovered place, together. Unlocking doors, together. Taking it slow on the inner roads of the precious landscapes of our beloveds—content to be where we are, right now. This place is safe because its roads have been laid and paved by the work of a friendship.
In those iridescent moments I wonder at myself thinking how it could ever be different than this, as though I thought I could direct a thing I did not design. Getting to love is a gift made for our delight, yet we often trade doing for delight, boasting for belonging, tired for…truth-that-unlocks-doors. This scares us, but we do not need to be afraid.
If Yeshua (Jesus) is our Sabbath, the holiness of time, and the dimension of time is where we meet the presence of God in the world of space (as we become more and more aware that every new moment is an act of creation), then our presence to the present must be one of the most precious realities to live into. This must be, even a little, what it means to live with the mind of Messiah.
Messiah is present, alive, He dressed Himself with humility to teach us how to expand our hearts with love that knows compassion, kindness, meekness, and patience—a love that is humble, not arrogant or rude. So humble that it would never force itself into our being, it is our choice to “put it on”, clothe ourselves with it.
In the daily picture, the details and the grind, it feels overwhelming at times to know how to pull away and out of ruts made in our continual hurry. It feels scary to sit with the mystery that is love because that is a quiet place, not a loud and boastful one. Yet Love calls us to not only sit but to disrobe, release our boasting, our pride, unashamed of our unknowing, untrusting, impatient selves…and sometimes to simply see, we’re tired, and to lay down and rest in It’s shelter.
Love’s invitation is this; to know that to love is to learn love. It is the goal and the means to the goal—one moment, that we choose to be present to, at a time. There is no mercy greater than this, nothing more generous or gracious. This is the gentle tenderness our soul longs for and that all at once so easily eludes us.
It will aid us to remember that we stand with the most to learn from the circumstances we never would have chosen and that we never love better than when we’ve given up our own preferences. I’ll have to remind myself of all this later on today, but for now I practice the knowing and wait with hope to see it become more and more a part of my being.
Recognizing the longing for our belonging is a common place for us all to meet. Why else would one of the most enduring passages about love (1 Corinthians 13) need to say that love is not boastful or arrogant or rude? It’s a nuanced way that invasive seeds try to take root where they do not belong. A-love-that-boasts is a counterfeit, but that means to an undiscerning eye it may appear the same as pure love. So, what can we do?
Take time. It takes time spent with True Love to know that it is lust not love that seeks power—our own definitions and preferences. It only takes selfishness and hurry to allow our lust to insist that we know best and what will make us the happiest—but love-that-is-pure reminds us like a chorus to this song we live in—we know so much less than we thought we did, and that’s alright. We let compassion move us forward and as we love we will learn to love more, even ourselves. amen.
Learning with you,
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Hello! I’m Raynna, and I’m glad you’re here. Say hello in the comments and tell me what you are learning about love? I’d enjoy that. If you subscribe to receive my posts in your inbox, and I’ll send you one of my poems to say hello and thank you.
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