But the greatest of these is a misnomer

I’ve been sick since the beginning of the month. At first, I thought it was just my Idaho allergies on the fritz because of the different climates I’d spent time in last month. But then, on Mother’s Day, I declined.

Opal was my constant curious companion and I think she’d prefer that I sat still and never left the house.

It took two weeks and several days of antibiotics, but I’m feeling better. I didn’t leave the house the second week and was even relegated to my room for a few days. It brought to mind that melancholy brain fog of sequestering which I felt during parts of the pandemic. It was hard to concentrate even though I had the time to dedicate. Fortunately, several people visited or texted and I am thankful for the kind of love that reaches out and finds you where you are.

We love because he first loved us.

Sometimes it’s easier for me to be motivated by compassion or generosity than it is to be motivated by love. I know that’s because I’m broken, as is everything here on earth. And I’m never more reminded of broken love than when I read 1 Corinthians 13, the “love” chapter. It’s not the kind of love I generally think of when I first hear the word.

Every time I recall an offense from my husband I am not loving him. If I’m easily provoked by a family member or I lose hope in humanity (that’s too easy) I am not loving. When I want to give up on someone or I don’t believe in someone, I am not loving them. It’s interesting that having faith (not giving up) and hope (believing) in someone is actually love towards them.

Still, the greatest is love (vs.13).

I think the most meaningful way to read this chapter is not to dwell on the ways we fail at love this side of eternity. (Personal lack is rarely the best place to pitch your tent.) Where we should focus is that this is how God loves us.

He is patient with me, he is kind, he is not jealous. I understand from the consistent totality of scripture that he loves me with a jealous love when I give myself away to less meaningful things, and that is a correct emotion in a covenant like marriage. But he is not jealous of the good things I have like hurtful human jealousy.

He does not act unbecomingly toward me or seek his own benefit. He does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but in truth. He bears with me, believes in me, hopes and endures with me. And he will not fail.

Oh, how he loves us.

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