Swelling vs. Pouring: Love is not Proud

 

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Love is not proud

If pride had density and could be measured, I imagine it swelling. Air filling a balloon, blood filling a bruise. There’s really only so much room, and the balloon pops; the bruise becomes painful, skin stretched and tender to the touch.

Except it isn’t so obvious.

We are in a world so swollen with pride; it feels natural to join right in. To collect our rights, our fears, our love, bottle it up to swell inside us. Without even noticing it grows like a mold in the folds of our insecurities as we beg to be noticed, appreciated, celebrated. For: our work, our beauty, our craft, our ministry. It’s slow but always swelling.

But love is always in the emptying.

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It makes me think of a story about a widow, her son, and a traveling prophet. When the prophet met her, she was gathering sticks for a fire. She’d saved only enough oil and flour for a single meal–the last meal–for herself and her son. She had one meal to her name, nothing more, certainly nothing to give. But the prophet asked her for bread, saying something that must of stopped her heart. “The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty.” And against all logic, she brought him her last scraps of food, pouring out her flour and oil… to find that it kept on pouring.

Love is always the emptying. The pouring out and pouring in, the giving up of: rights, words, debts. It fills up our gaps, the cracks and holes in other hearts.

Then, just when you think you should stop, bottle it up for yourself, you hear Him speak: pour me some water, bring me some bread.

And, against all logic, it keeps on flowing.

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

 

balloon image via unsplash- hiperstermum
lightbulb imageimage via unsplash- sharonpittaway.com

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