I’d like to take the beautiful text of I Corinthians 13, the Love Chapter, and add another phrase.
Inspired? Probably not. So we’ll just stick with AUV (Angela’s Uninspired Version).
Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
Love does not demand its own way.
Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
Love does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up, never loses faith.
Love is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Love is weird.
Such a nice ring to it. So real. cultural. trendy.
Why “weird”? Well, basically, take a good hard look at the definitions and actions of true love, flesh it out, and then imagine following a person around all day that actually practiced these phrases in real time. You’d have to come to the conclusion, “They are CRAZY!”.
To choose love. self-sacrificing love. kind hands. forgiving words. genuine smiles.
when that guy steals your iPhone right after group contra-dancing with him.
when your brother daily leaves cheese slice wrappers all over the kitchen.
when day after day your teenager openly disrespects you and refuses to talk.
when your vindictive relative stirs up animosity against you within your family.
when a new coworker is handed the job and pay raise you rightfully deserve.
when the guy you gave so much self-sacrificing love to decides to date another girl.
when your housemate breaks contract and walks away, leaving you with a monthly payment you can’t make.
when these incidents happen again. and again. and again.
and yet true love doesn’t allow you to walk away with bitterness and resentment.
And the craziness is not just about having these intentions; it’s when you practice them in front of others and speak the heart behind your decision. That’s the part I don’t like; I don’t like to stand out, to be exceptional. It draws too much attention to something so …different.
Quite frankly, love is offensive. Oh, I like to be all cute about it, share great quotes, tweet meaningful insights, buy P.S. I Love You off the $5 stack at Walmart and place it meaningfully on my shelf next to Fireproof.
But what you don’t see is that moment when every feeling and emotion and logic is screaming inside me, “I can’t stand you anymore!” And that, my friends, is when the test of true love shows up and says, “So what will you do? How far can you go?”
Because love never ends. never fails. never runs out.
And then in order to really love, a choice is made. A choice to lay down myself, my rights, my reason, my deservings, and to actually die. Then I, in that posture of sacrifice with weak, struggling, almost unwilling hands, lift that person above myself.
I typically don’t “feel” loving in that position. Actually, it’s really uncomfortable. It hurts being there. It doesn’t make sense and often I’m in an argument with myself about whether or not this is the best choice, if it’s actually helpful in the longrun.
And then God spoke this to me tonight: Mercy and love break chains.
Arguments don’t break chains. Cold, hard truth doesn’t break chains.
But love does.
And that feeling of love? Well, that will come. Emotions tend to be a bit delayed at times. But it’s coming. The joy and passion and happiness– it’s totally on it’s way. But don’t wait for it in order to act. cause you might not ever end up loving anyone in your life. not cool.
So it’s not all fluff; there’s proof and reality to true love.
And proof is in the pudding.
Actually I don’t even know what that means. and I don’t even like pudding.
Have you ever met someone that loves like that?
Yeah, it’s probably weird.
…now I’d like to retract that word.
When you meet someone like that
and true beauty is love.