Michael McKendricks – writer, theologian, web developer and waffle, bacon and all round food enthusiast

Love–Part 1: Introduction to Imperviousness

1Cor. 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it his not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Warning: this is a hard look at love. You may not like everything I have to say. Understand that this series is not a reflection of the degree of love that I have attained, but to which I aspire. If I have not lived up to any part of this in my own life, I am sorry.

Love is something that means different things to many people. This reflection on the meaning of love, is mine. I base it on a passage of Scripture, but I do not believe that one needs to believe in Scripture to accept this definition.

I would first like to walk through this passage to make some specific observations about the characteristics of love. I’m going to break this into pieces to make it easier to digest.

Before I get too far in, I want to highlight that if we say we love someone, believe ourselves to be loving or call ourselves Christians, then these are imperative qualities–we absolutely need to be all these things. We should be able to make our name interchangeable with the word love as it is used in the passage and the statements should all still hold true.

Love is patient and kind;

It seems today that we do not have a solid appreciation for patience. Certain things take a long time to happen and other people can be difficult to tolerate for long periods of time. As ones who love, we need to be patient and kind. This means that we must tolerate the impatient and unkind. We must endure the drudgery of monotonous life, we must struggle through continuing to interact with people that are cruel to us. We must learn to trust that things will happen in due season.

Learning to wait for the microwave to finish is tough these days, but perhaps it’s best to start there. Start somewhere small and learn to build patience. Find some way in your life to learn to accept things not happening when you want. Drive slower, walk somewhere, turn off your clock. Moving toward patience with people is a whole other ball game.

It is difficult to let people do things in their own time. However, we must learn that in loving someone, we must learn to wait for them; whether be waiting for them to say they love you or waiting for them to finally pull their head out of their lower intestine and stop doing whatever stupid thing they do. Loving people means giving them the freedom to live their own lives even if it is painful or uncomfortable for us.

Unfortunately, we are not to repay life in like kind. We are expected to be kind regardless of the kindness we receive. Speak kind words, and do kind things. Tell people the things you appreciate about them, compliment them. If you can’t do that, at the very least, resist the urge to deride and belittle them. Help people move or carry their things. Feed the hungry. Care for the sick. Use your abilities to help those who do not. Share the wealth. If you have something good, spread the joy. Let other people experience the things you love (to the degree that they are interested).

Psalm 3

When I stood to worship you I thought that I had reached the limits of how to express my praise. When I bowed before you I felt I would never need another way to show my allegiance. When I rocked the drums I knew I couldn’t find a greater expression of thanks. When I sang along with a chorus of angels I believed I had finally given peace to my need to say I love you.

Now my legs are numb, my knees are raw, I can’t move my arms they’re so sore, my throat is dry and hoarse, my lungs burn like chilies and I haven’t said enough. I’ve given myself to you; learned to sing and drum and dance all for you, but in the end, I cannot show enough how much you mean to me.

One touch from you needs a symphony, one gift deserves a new style of drum, every word deserves its own poem, and I haven’t muscles strong enough to sing, nor big enough to play. I don’t have the vocabulary or imagination to say enough.

I’m dying in my expressions so you’d know how great you are. I know if you utter another word or grace me with another touch I would live and die again if only so you’d know that I love you with all I can.