It’s everywhere; inundating our lives whether we realize it or not: love. Yet, do we really know what real love is? I’m learning that my idea of love wasn’t always really love at all. It was something manmade, something that I tried to muster up. Most times it failed, and failure is opposite of love because love is supposed to never give up. I give up, far more than I’d like to admit. I give up on so many different things that it would take hours to explain. Growing up I’d give up if I thought something was too hard, or simply out of my reach. Those bad habits that I fostered and held onto so closely have followed me in life and have been a difficult thing to change; especially when it comes to love.
I’ve been confronted with this aspect of my life so much recently. Realizing that love is the essence of everything I should be, and be doing. Love has to be my motivation or else what I do is a failure. Love also is not something that I can create in and of myself. My attempts are flawed, self-centered, and quite contrary to what I’ve been called to as a person and as a redeemed woman. I’ve been reading about unity in my study of Ephesians lately and have seen that we are called to be a loving, unified body. I fail because I’m looking to myself to create that love. I was never designed to create that love, but to have Christ’s love flowing through me. When I stopped to think about that some things started to click, again.
In one of my recent favorite albums (that I’ve been playing over and over since last summer and still love it every time) there are several parts that talk about love. One part compares a person flying a kite and the kites’ attitude towards the string holding it; thinking that it’s limited by the string. But we all know that kites without strings are failures. Kites without someone or something holding them would either crash or just fly away with no purpose, only to eventually crash. Isn’t that how we act sometimes? We think that some things limit us in life and we don’t like the feeling of constraint, do we? I don’t. But the song goes on to say that Father’s love is like the kite string—everything we do matters and if love isn’t the string holding us when we “do” good things—those things are insignificant in the realm of eternity. It’s easier to read that or hear that and think wow, yeah—but then reality hits and our actions determine if we’re doing life with or without love.
[The song is The String that Ties Us – Beautiful Eulogy]
For each of our lives we’re doing different things. I teach—so my classes can be an avenue of watching my Father work. I can let go of the control I desire to have over that 90 minute period of time that I am with my students and ask Father to work through me and to love through me. Am I just going to go through motions? See this as just another mundane day of teaching? Or really grapple with life and think about the beauty of it and the utter inability I have to control any of it. I want to let the creator of love be seen by my students and the people who I interact with. I want even my ukulele playing to be done in love. Don’t forget the many meals cooked in my kitchen. I desire to love my Father first and foremost in each thing I do, because that will determine so, so much.
So after thinking about this a student arrives in class with some things that another student brought back to our school that I had loaned out during the winter. He also pulled out a box. I opened the box to find a bracelet [glow in the dark none the less!] that describes what Father has been teaching me. He’s the one that equips us and transforms us into the image of Christ. It’s not me. It’s not my strength. It’s His.
I want to love, really. These people around me need to know what real love is. I want them to know the patience that has been shown to me. They can’t survive on the cultural lies about love, or the media lies about love. They were made for so much more. Their hearts can only be filled by this kind of love. I have that love, and I must not be a hoarder of it.