Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Until age six, love equaled the tattered lavender blanket people cuddled me in as they read me stories. I adored stories and my blanket.
Next, love equaled the security felt when unpleasant things happened if I clutched the spotted cowrie shell Dad brought home from WWII Navy duty in the South Seas. But having Dad home didn’t guarantee secure love. Instead dissension grew and our home divided.
I found lasting love through the young church planted by Bible college students in the community center across the street from my home. They introduced me to divine love by placing my hand in God’s. The public library in that same community center nurtured my love for books and writing, sparking creativity in me.
Is love a feeling? A tangible gift? Expressed acts?
How do we convey love? Gentle words and touch? Kind actions? Meeting children’s needs with patience, delighting in their questions and discoveries? My grandkids love the children’s books I’ve written, asking what I’ll write next. I turn that question around: “What stories will you write? Tell them to me.” And they do.
God is love. After long cold winters, He sends spring flowers—fresh words and insights to delight our hearts, creating new responses in us. His love rescues us when we land in situations over our heads, teaching us to ask and receive His help, while building precious memorials along the way. He gifts us with similar committed friends like the Ponderers. He opens writing doors that we can’t budge ourselves.
Love is something to receive and appreciate, like spring gardens drinking rain and creating fragrance—not something to clutch greedily. Hanging on produces something sterile and evil-smelling like Israel’s Dead Sea.
God’s love to us, received and returned to Him, multiplies and produces enough extra for everyone around us, never running out. One day it will transform creation, bringing to reality what John declared on Patmos, “Behold, I make all things new,” (Revelation 21:5) and what Paul spoke in Corinthians, “... now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
How have you experienced love -- both receiving it from and giving it to others?