Friday, May 22, 2009

Learning to Love

"Learning to love differently is hard,
love with the hands wide open, love
with the doors banging on their hinges,
the cupboard unlocked, the wind
roaring and whimpering in the rooms . . ."
Marge Piercy

I'm praying this morning for God to teach me about REAL love. Love that is patient and kind. Love that does not envy, does not boast and is not proud. Love that isn't rude or self-seeking and is not easily angered. Love that keeps no record of wrongs. Love that does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Love that always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always endures.

In our crazy Oprah, Dr. Phil culture filled with so much psychotherapy and humanism we are taught to set up healthy boundaries and only love so far. We are told to protect ourselves and look out for our interests first. And so Satan tricks me into thinking there is an acceptable time to cut off someone who is just too hard to love. He tells me I just can't keep walking down this path with someone who has made so many bad choices; someone who has caused so much hurt for so many and can't even see it or feel it. As I turn around to leave, God's grace and amazing love to me stop me in my tracks. I was the unlovely. I was the one who wounded everyone I touched with selfish and sinful lies for so long. I was the one who needed the persistent reflection of Christ's love by people who were not keeping records of my wrongs but ever trusting, hoping, and enduring in their love of my soul.

Thank You for never washing your hands of me or turning away but relentlessly pursuing my heart. Please, Lord, teach me how to love like You do. Give me Your grace and help me to show it in tangible ways to the ones I find it so hard to love.