LOVE

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The end of all things is near. Therefore … above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:7-8

The end of all things is near, so put your energy and passion into the one thing we have now that’s eternal — the reason why we exist — the reason why Jesus was born in Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth, died in Jerusalem and rose again outside of town — love. It’s all about love.

But it’s not as easy as it sounds. I just wrote the following to a friend: “I’m trying to write about love — the next thing Peter tells us to do because the end of all things is near — and I can’t get it. I’ve made three attempts so far and I’m missing it by a mile. Oh, I’m writing a lot of great things about love, but I’m not in it personally. It’s all at arm’s length. I can tell it, but mostly Marti can tell it because she knows me so well.”

Maybe I can look for some examples. “The end of all things is near,” so Marti spends two hours counseling a single women totally alone and depressed, and I start placing calls to churches in the area to get some physical assistance for her. That might be something about love.

“The end of all things is near,” so I put my work aside yesterday and went with my son Chandler to help overcome an issue with a trade school he is attending.

“The end of all things is near,” so get ready for Christmas and the members of my family who will need me to be out of isolation to be willing and able to take part and to love them.

And why do we love each other deeply? Because love covers over a multitude of sins. Whose sins? My sins. With my sins out of the way, I can be free to love. I’ve been forgiven, and therefore, for the first time, I can love myself. When Jesus told us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, He was declaring a psychological reality. You can’t love someone else if you can’t love yourself, and you can’t love yourself when you are full of guilt.

“The end of all things is near,” so step out of my isolation booth and into the lives of those I really do love to be vulnerable to the possibility that God is in me, loves me deeply, and will show up with or without me.

I feel a lot like Shel Silverstein’s poem where “V” is the only part of “LOVE” that could make it today, when God, who is all of “LOVE” is in me all the time, showing up whenever I am willing to make myself vulnerable.

This entry was posted in 12 Steps, 21-day Challenge, Christmas and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to LOVE

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    Great Catch!

  2. John A Fagliano says:

    It’s hard to love when everyone’s angry and blaming others for all our problems. It’s hard not to feel the anger too and start blaming instead of loving. ( In my last 2 facebook comments, I used the anger emoji. That ought to tell you where my mind’s been lately)

    But if the end of all things is near, that means the end of our crisis too. Therefor it’s too late to still be angry, God is imminent. God is Love. Let’s be ready to join Him.

    BTW When I saw the “V” the first thing I thought of was Vaccination. That alone won’t be enough but we can pray that the rest of LOVE will join in.

  3. John, you sound as if you’re describing yourself as riding on the same donkey with the young man who approached Jesus asking, “…what shall I do so that I may obtain eternal life?”
    Even though that young man had done what was required (according to the Law) prior to this meeting, he still felt he fell short somehow. And after hearing the answer from Jesus’ own lips – a pretty simple solution really – the young man “went away grieving” (NASB).
    Yet, he could have easily followed Jesus’ counsel right then and there by getting off his donkey, given the beast to someone else in the crowd (as a first step in giving away his fortune), and remained in Jesus’ company… through eternity.

    You have eternal life with Jesus John, there is no doubt, but you’re still seeking something to validate the Love you preach and conquer that which you feel you lack.

    John, I know very little about your inner struggles or personal torments apart from what you write about (confess?). But it sounds to me as if you need to get off that donkey of yours and plant your feet onto the solid ground of resolve.
    It’s not difficult unless you let it be.
    And then you keep at it or else you slip back into the old man you’re trying to shed.

    You know the answers already. You go through the motions.
    And, yet, you’re feeling as if you’re falling short somehow.
    Dismount that donkey. Give away that saddle. Remove the blanket, bare your shoulders. And take off your shoes. Your standing on Holy Ground.

    All of us need to get off our donkeys and high horses and actually walk the talk ourselves. It really isn’t that hard but we must have resolve – and that is where the Holy Spirit comes in.
    “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

    You have the LORD of LOVE, LOVE HIMSELF living inside of you so don’t sell yourself short. You know you need to be vulnerable. You know the solution.

    “The end of all things is near.”
    Don’t waste any more time. Just do it.

    Happy Last Day of Hanukkah and…

    Shalom, Peace my friends!

    🙂

    • A humble case-in-point:
      My donkey is named Perfection.
      If I can’t present myself and what I say or do as perfect – if I commit even one small error – then I beat myself up and feel pretty useless or unworthy.
      For example, I noticed a misspelling in my above reply and, immediately, I regretted having hit the “send” button. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
      Silly, right?
      I know it’s no big deal but that’s the donkey I’m saddled with.
      There are other donkeys in the corral that I’ll ride on occasion, sometimes two or three at a time… a mind-boggling feat and exhausting exercise!!!

      Fortunately, though, slowly-but-surely I’m turning those reins over to Jesus and dismounting the beast that is my burden.
      It really isn’t that hard – unless I let it be.

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