I found myself asking a question throughout Holy Week. The question was, “What is love?” I wanted to ask in order to know again. I found myself realizing that we speak of love in generalities, with romantic notions, but to live day in and day out seeking to walk in love with God, all of humanity, and creation—“What does that love look like?” I decided to put the question out into the world, hoping for even a couple of responses.
There were truly amazing stories shared, that are too long for me to include here, but what surprised me was how many people responded with immediate comments that were deeply profound. Here are some of the responses:
I take literally the statement in the Gospel of John that God loves the world. I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always toward wholeness, which ultimately is reconciliation and atonement with God.”
From my Aunt in Richmond, Virginia, Years ago the Richmond newspaper ran this:
Love is friendship, it is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, it hopes for the future, but doesn’t brood over the past. It’s the day-in and day-out chronicle of irritations, problems, comprises, small disappointments, big victories and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you don’t have it, no matter what else there is, it’s not enough.
I asked my Aunt if there was an author or a date and she said, “just a folded-up bit of paper I have kept in my jewelry box for years.”
Love is loving the unlovable Pam Hynes—Jackson, Mississippi
Love is the scalpel that cuts deep into the abscess of hate and starts the healing
Derek Ronnie—Cape Town, South Africa
Love is to try to begin the day again. Love is gratitude, graciousness, compassion, forgiveness, gentleness, honesty, empathy, generosity. Love is surrendering yourself without losing yourself. Love is remembering that, to truly love others, you must first love yourself. Victoria Nash Coulter—Vermillion, Ohio
Love bleeds willfully and joyfully
Kahil Gilbran quoted by Joy Alford—North Carolina
Love is a decision
Glenda Howieson—Pinetown, South Africa
Love is presence, in the most dark and painful moments of life. Love is sacrifice and yet a gift. Love is committing to walk a path unseen through unimaginable trials and staying until the final destination. Alynda Ponder—Jackson, Mississippi
Love isn’t easy. It’s hard, it’s messy, it’s painful. It never gives up. It holds on against all odds, full of hope, daring to dream of love returned.
Leigh Anne Bassinger—High Point, North Carolina
Love is treating the next person, irrespective of any differences, as your equal and without prejudice. Eddie Cyster—Cape Town, South Africa
Love is the binding force for life.
Lynne Malley Green—Gulfport, Mississippi
Love is the foundation for being Christ-like.
Sandy Hieronymous—Charlotte, North Carolina
I hope you found these meaningful….
With you on the journey, Michelle
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