Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Devotional 160210

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I am glad the fog is gradually lifted, and the whole nature seems to come alive again under the sun. Life involves different seasons; we may appreciate some changes in life but not the other. But no matter how seasons of life may change, His love remains unchanged. We need to hold on to this fact so that we can press on in life, no matter how good or bad our experience may become. Amen?

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, Doesn't have a swelled head, Doesn't force itself on others, Isn't always "me first," Doesn't fly off the handle, Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, Doesn't revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. Love never dies (1 Cor 13:3-8a Message).

If I, deeply in love with another, begin describing with passionate appreciation what has been unnoticed or ignored by everyone else for years, some people around me are sure to dismiss me, “Love is blind.” They mean that love diminishes my capacity to see what is actually there so that fantasy, tailor-made to fit my desires, can be projected on another and thus make him or her acceptable as lover. The cynical follow-up is that if this did not happen, if I saw the other truly, I would never get involved. Why? It is because everyone is, in fact, quite unlovely, either visibly or invisibly, or, in some particularly unfortunate cases, both. Love doesn’t see truth but creates illusions and incapacitates us for dealing with the hard-edged realities of life.

But the popular saying, as popular sayings so often are, is wrong. It is hate that is blind. It is habit, condescension, and cynicism that are blind. Love opens eyes. Love enables the eyes to see what has been there all along but was overlooked in haste or indifference. Love corrects astigmatism so that what was distorted in selfishness is now received accurately and appreciatively. Love cures shortsightedness so that the blur of the distant other is now in wondrous focuses. Love cures farsightedness so that opportunities for intimacy are no longer blurred threats but blessed invitations. Love looks at the one who had no “form or attractiveness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him” and sees there the “fairest of the sons of men … anointed with the oil of gladness above your fellows,”

If we could see the other as he is, as she is, there is no one we would not see as “fairest … all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.” Love penetrates the defenses that have been built up to protect against rejection and scorn and belittlement, and it sees life created by God for love. We are created to be target of God’s love, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…” (John 3:16a). We are lovely in God’s sight simply because God did not allow hate to distort His perception of His children. And He allows love to dictate His acts and plans for mankind. In the same way, God wants His children to love one another just as the way He loves them. It may take a life time to put love into practice. But it takes daily reflection and appreciation of His perfect love for us, so that we know what love really is (correct our misconception about love). The Holy Spirit will then guide and empower us to put His love into daily action, if we are willing to submit to His Word despite of our human weaknesses.

Love you in according to His plan,

No comments: