I learned a lot about love today. Not from a preacher or teacher. Not from some self-help guru, or famous t.v. evangelist. Rather, it came through a family doing what just yesterday I would have thought, the unthinkable.
I don’t do “love” well. I want to. But, if truth be told, I love with white knuckles. I know that pain that comes with it, and maybe because of that I rarely give 100 % of myself to it. I want to be better at it. Braver. More courageous with it. Yet, I haven’t mastered the ability to just fall into it, give 100% of myself to it, believing that someone at the other end will catch me, so I write.
It has been an area of my life that I am working on. But, then something happens, or I meet someone who hurts me, and I recoil… and the life long dance continues… three steps forward and two steps back.. Those that love me best, know this about me… they even joke a little about the invisible hula hoop I have strapped about me, and lucky for me,they understand what it takes for me to hand over my heart, and they are good stewards with it.
All too often I focus on the negative side of love. The side that can be hurt. Leave you vulnerable. Make you seem weak or foolish.
But today, in the midst of immense heartache, I saw a side of love that took me by surprise. Not that I hadn’t seen it before, certainly I have…. but there was something so sweet and yet so audacious about it today, that even I, got it, letting it penetrate a place that few things have.
As I sat and witnessed, along with most of the rest of our community, a family saying their sweet good-nights to their 23-year-old son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend, I, like I image every other mother in the place, was afraid to breath. Somehow, it felt as if.. if I didn’t breath, God couldn’t see me, and I could avoid ever having to experience this kind of pain.
Silly I know. I know God doesn’t scan the audience and choose his next loved one to call home. I know that we each have a destined amount of time that was pre-decided before we were even born, yet still… my white knuckled self…. felt my lungs hold still… afraid to breath in….or out… wanting to run for the door – – – but to terrified to move.
It isn’t that I haven’t had loss, felt pain, and somehow survived it. I have. Although, I am convinced that losing a child is a pain un-matched.
As the slide-show finished – – and family members walked to the front to share their memories, I wondered where they could find the strength to do it…. Sharing beautiful glimpses into their relationships, allowing us to see perhaps what we didn’t know before.
And as if God Himself sat down beside me, I, for the first time since entering the chapel, felt air fill my lungs as HE whispered; “It is what love does.” Love finds a way.
SO the lesson today for me was, how love can cause us to do the un-imaginable. The Un-thinkable. The inconceivable. Love can steady our feet, clear our mind, mend our hearts and shore us up, in ways that nothing else could possible ever do. It can help us to share the essence of the one we love so passionately, so that his or her memory, isn’t one of sadness, rather one of life and laughter and love.
I walked away with a better understanding of how Love can strengthen us beyond anything we could have ever dreamed… after-all; It is what love does.