We gathered at the table with plates of sausage and sauteed turnips in golden butter. The children marveled at their chocolate-strawberry smoothies and asked if this meant we were "cheating" on our "no-sugar contest". We blessed our food and dug in, and when silence had covered the table, which is a rare and precious thing. He didn't bring me roses, or candy, but these words,
" If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. " 1 Corinthians 13, NIV
These words always cut straight into me. I have them memorized, I have since I was 16 and was required to for a mission trip. I have them committed to my heart as the only pure definition of this four-letter word that we throw around. I know in my house and probably yours, this word bounces off the walls, spoken in haste, in repetition, in habit.
But is it lived out?
This question burns. Am I patient? Am I kind? During lessons, when my children will not behave? When my husband is absorbed in work and doesn't notice my emotional state? When I speak of my Savior and what He has done? Do I do it with love, that hopes? That perseveres? Do I keep a list in my head of the ways my heart has been broken? Or do I leave these things at my Saviors feet and "go in peace"?
I can't always answer on the yes side of these questions. But I do know that when I do choose love, hopeful, patient, self-less love....IT NEVER FAILS!!
Happy Valentines Day to you, God Bless.
Love and Butter,