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

Real Love: the humble love of a mother

I wrote this post over a month ago when I was waiting to meet the little girl who made me a Mommy. 

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my mother. holding my baby girl


Love does not boast…

For weeks now, I have been wondering: when this swollen belly will give way to our child, when I will finally break open (in so many mysterious ways), when I will feel the weight of my first child on my chest.

There is the constant questioning: will she be healthy? Will she be wise? Will I know how to love her?

Then there is reflecting on my own mother, marked by 3 children, a conquered disease, a lasting marriage and a thriving faith.

There is remembering: her nodding to sleep as she rocked so many children in that square oak chair. Her hanging laundry out to dry in the sun, knowing full well we’d run that hill, dragging dirty hands and faces through those clean damp sheets. Her cleaning up after I got the gumption to bake. Her braiding my hair. Her cheering us on, hiding her fear while we flew down that crumbling sidewalk on rollerblades, bikes, in wagons. Her cleaning our wounds when we crashed.

This is a love that does not boast, a love that expects nothing in return. This love humbly gives and gives, accepts burnt toast and Cheerios served in bed on Mother’s day morning.

This is a love that raises warriors to fight for the good in this world, raises artists to call it out, raises teachers to remind us of it.

This love is not loud, but constant. An ancient whisper passed on, and passed on–from mother to child to mother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real Love: Celebrating victories

Picture her,
face lit up with the false sun of some screen
scrolling,
scrolling like reaching…for
something

it will always slip
away, a balloon caught in wind-drift

 

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Love does not envy…

It’s all too easy to be envious in this wide-web world. It’s at our fingertips–the success and beauty and brilliance of others. We attach to the perceived perfection and wish it was our own. We envy, wish we had that experience, physique, relationship, thing.

We forget:
a million likes can never equal love
someone else’s highlight reel cannot be compared to our behind-the-scenes.

We forget:
Envy is a thief. It steals our own joy and robs us of reasons to rejoice.

Merriam-webster says envy is “a painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage.”

So if love doesn’t do this, it must do the opposite.

Real Love must find pleasure in another’s ‘advantages,’ achievements, victories, experiences. Real love must be able to celebrate in another’s victory without making it hers.  It must be content, at rest.

Love does not envy; it enjoys another’s success. Real love celebrates.

 

Real Love: love is kind

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Big thanks to my friend, Catie, who inspired me with this gem to keep writing & thinking about real love.

I looked at my wordpress stats from this past year, and I posted a meager four times! Sure, I posted on my website, for work and for a collaborative blog from time to time, but here, just. four. times.

The reason this is so not okay (with me) is because this site has been the home to my mental wanderings and spiritual searchings since college. This is the place where I spread paint on the paper, explore ideas, and share bits of my craft.

I began the real love series with an intent to finish it week by week… annnddd only got through week one. But 2016 is my year! I am committing to post (at least!) the 11 times it takes to cover this series with the hopes that I leave 2016 a better person and a more consistent writer.

How it began

It all started with a journey through Corinthians with some of the best people around and one of the most beloved, over-quoted and under-practiced passages of the bible–a passage even that even the ‘secular’ world can’t help but quote.

(A)Love is patient and (B)kind; love (C)does not envy or boast; it (D)is not arrogant or rude. It(E)does not insist on its own way; it (F)is not irritable or resentful;[a] it (G)does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but (H)rejoices with the truth. (I)Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, (J)endures all things.- Corinthians 13:4-7.

I want to dig into this, get it under my fingernails and stop taking it for granted. Because, quite simply, love is worth it.

I hope this journey is one you’ll join because my perspective is just a pinprick of light on a topic that deserves illumination. Check out the first post, fishermen lovers (love is patient) if you like, and join in to share your stories, comments, and wisdom on real love.

Continue reading “Real Love: love is kind”