As soon as I realized how significantly I had injured myself ,I knew that I could not both dial the phone and apply the appropriate pressure to my gaping wound. Nor would I be able to load two toddlers into the car and drive myself to the hospital. I knew I needed to find someone to help me...and fast. I made my way next door and knocked on the front door with my elbow. No answer. Feeling desperation begin to rise up inside me, I muttered a cry of help to God as I dashed to the next home down.
I had not yet even met these neighbors as we'd just relocated to this neighborhood a few weeks prior. The beautiful sound of a vacuum humming behind their door meant someone was inside who could help. It turned out to be two someones. The wife, a former nurse, stayed a my home with the toddlers, cleaned up all the blood and greeted my other to children when they arrived from school. The husband, whisked me off to the hospital in his car.
Sensing my angst, he told me to talk about something that calms me. The only thing I could think of was the scripture I'd just been memorizing so I began to recite the words I'd just learned. These words are about real love. Love that is patient. Love that is kind. Love that doesn't give up no matter what. As I spoke those words, my heart calmed, my pulse slowed and I knew God, full of perfect love, was not surprised when that knife passed through my hand. He would give me the patience to endure the consequences of my wound. He would inspire other's with kindness to help me when needed. He would not give up on me.
Today's passage is the very one I memorized two and half years ago, 1 Corinthians 13. I will forever associate this passage with my scar. I carry in my hand as well as my heart the evidence of the scars that develop with love is severed.
- Love is Patient - Love is patient even when I've spent the entire day waiting on others.
- Love is Kind - Kindness is not conditional on how somehow else treats me.
- Love Does Not Envy - Love does not envy even when I feel like I'm stuck at home, even when I honor God with my finances and it seems like everyone else is rewarded for it and even when others receive that for which I worked hard.
- Love Does Not Boast - Love focuses its' attention squarely on the other person and rejoices in their every triumph and accomplishment.
- Love is Not Proud - Love is never too prideful to ask for forgiveness.
- Love is Not Rude - Love takes the time to listen and puts others ahead of my agenda.
- Love is Not Self-Seeking - Love delights to let someone else get to choose.
- Love is Not Easily Angered - Love likes to laugh. Love enjoys responding with kindness. Love gives up the right to have rights.
- Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs - Love tears up the lists and presses stop on the recording of my mind that replays past hurts and incidents. Love expects the best no matter how many times I've been disappointed.
Recently I set my pinkie that has never fully regained its' nerves, onto a 400 degree cookie sheet. It took much longer to pull my hand away than it should have due to my dulled sensitivity. When I love in a way the doesn't honor God, my senses get dulled to what loving someone with God's love should really be like. I might even lull myself into thinking that lashing out in anger is the appropriate response or keeping track of who's wronged me is just being smart about my relationships.
God's brand of love described in this passage heals and binds. When I act or speak in ways contrary to His way, I tear at the fabric of my relationships. I cut others down to size. I scratch away at the foundation of love and inflict gashes of hurt.Jesus, today, help me remember why I learned this passage to begin with. I want to love others, starting with my husband, in a way that honors You and reflects Your character. Jesus, Your scarred hands are the ultimate symbol of love. Today I will use my scarred hand as an ever-present reminder of Your definition of love.