Friday, February 10, 2012

Now Abide

suffers long
and is kind;

does not envy;

does not parade itself,
is not puffed up;

does not behave rudely,
does not seek its own,
is not provoked,
thinks no evil;

does not rejoice in iniquity,
but rejoices in the truth;

bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.

Love never fails.

But whether there are prophecies,
they will fail;

whether there are tongues,
they will cease;

whether there is knowledge,
it will vanish away...

And now abide faith,
these three;
but the greatest of these is love.

Pursue love...

It is one of the most read chapters in the Bible, 
even by those who do not revere the Bible.

It separates love from knowledge, 
from prophetic utterance, 
from the words of men and of angels,
from the understanding of mysteries,
from great faith,
from generous giving,
and intentional martyrdom.

It strikes me that the first thing it says 
in its description of love is that it suffers long.
This isn't a Disneyland love story:
it isn't syrupy at all.

...and is kind.
It suffers long and is kind.
That alone would seem to disqualify this passage 
from describing a human relationship.
I know some loving people -- who get provoked.

It bears all things?
All things.
There is nothing it doesn't bear?

Hopes all things?
I am a perpetual foreseer of doom.
You're going to break that. 
You're going to trip over that.
You will definitely screw up.
Disaster is around the bend.
I can't comprehend hoping all things.
I would be better described as
despairing of all things.

Endures all things.
Again, with the impossible.
Love never fails.

When I stopped seeing this passage 
as a list of attributes I hadn't gained,
I started seeing Him.

God is love.
We know love by Him.
He suffers long, and is kind...
He bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
He never fails.

He continues to intercede on my behalf, 
because He continues to hope for me.
He thinks no evil of me.
Is not provoked by me.
He loved us first.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

So beautifully true! Thank you. I've shared this to facebook.