All the talk about the mass shooting in Orlando, FL this past weekend has motivated me to write a little about love. In a world filled with so much hate and anger, I vow to show love to those around me, even when it isn’t returned.
Although we love each other so very much, there are times when people disappoint us. We like to believe that those who care about us will always come through. But the truth is, those who care about us are human and therefore, imperfect.
In a perfect world, friends would always chose the right words to encourage us when we experience difficulty, and come through with that exact remedy that would make everything okay without being asked. If our world were perfect, parents would always support our passionate pursuits and siblings would be our best friends. If life were as it should be, our boyfriends, husbands, girlfriends and wives would never say cutting words that make our hearts bleed or leave us alone in times of desperation. We can wish that those we love will never let us down, but we know from experience this can’t be true.
We ourselves will let others down. Although we may care deeply for someone, we also will inevitably stumble and disappoint another. We can accept the imperfection in ourselves, but can we accept it in others? Can we meet people where they are, wherever that is, and still love them? Can we give to others the same thing that we deeply desire from them? Is love and acceptance possible, even when those we love fail to be considerate, fail to show up when we need them, fail to offer sympathy when we hurt?
I believe this is one of the most difficult types of love to achieve, but one we can all reach with selfless determination, an empathetic heart and a mind intent on the needs of others rather than our own. There is a misconception floating around that love should be easy. Nothing is further from the truth. Nothing worth anything is easy. Love is difficult, it is work and it is more valuable than any material thing on this planet.
Can we make a choice to do that work; the work of love? Can we make an effort, being consciously aware of our own imperfections while loving others despite theirs? I can try. I will try.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.