The past week has been a challenge for me to walk, in so many different ways. They have shown me where I’ve grown and areas where I still need work.
On Thursday I said ‘good-bye’ to my favorite half and sent him half way around the world. He has left a hole in our home and his absence is being felt keenly. Our home life which is always quite busy, seems busier & bigger with him gone.
The daytime is easier to handle than those long dark hours of night. The space in the bed and the absence of the noises that I am used to hearing makes it difficult to truly relax into the arms of slumber. There’s no snuffling (or snoring), no fighting for blankets, and the bed just feels that much too big for one person. I’m sure given the passage of time that will change, but for now, we fight for sleep.
I’ll admit to being a bit of wimp over him being gone, and have had a day (or two) where I abdicated from life and holed up in my room and did nothing. Well, I can’t quite say nothing; I read. A lot. Not what I promised myself I would read though. I ended up reaching for what was in my comfort zone which probably wasn’t the best thing as it made me miss him more. But this too, will pass.
This past weekend held a defining moment for me, and proved to me once and for all that the gospel of Jesus Christ can be summed up in one word:
I had coffee with a friend and found out through conversation that this friend had made some life choices that were hard, but in the end made this friend happy and content in life. These choices were not ones I would’ve thought my friend would make and all I could do was reach out and offer love.
Jesus said: “Love God will all your heart, soul and mind” and “love your neighbor as yourself”. Love. Over and over again we are told to love; and to love unconditionally. I’ve learned that love is a verb, an action that offers hugs in the hard places, cries for the pain filled places, and offers a safe place and room to grow.
I think the Apostle Paul says it best when he says:
“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.” (ICorinthians 13:1-7, MSG)