Love is a mother, retching in the toilet every day, filled with wonder at the tiny human growing inside her. Love is giving up sleep for years, as pregnancy gives way to newborn wakefulness which in turn gives way to toddlers, children, teenagers, waking mommy in the night. Love is praying, caring, shepherding, trying new things and answering volleys of questions. Love is giving up her own body in the service of others.
Love is a father, working hard through sweat and pain to fill the bellies, minds, and souls of his dear children. Love is taking time to listen to the cares of almost-teens, voiced at night when they should sleep, wondering what to do and how to do it. Love is taking them to church both when they like it and when they don’t. Love is walking down the aisle, letting go and trying not to cry. Love does not seek its own.
Love is a marriage; when romance falters and patience thins, the spouses seek to speak in kindness. Love is praying for the other when the sins rise to the surface, not rejecting, not complaining, but bearing always, covering faults, and praying, pleading, for God to do the work of sanctifying. Love is bearing with the other, pointing them to Jesus always. Love suffers long and is kind.
Love is a soldier, heading not away from, but towards the danger, leaving friends and family behind, looking at a picture in the twilight, Love is strength to meet the enemy, working to defeat a common foe. Love is gladly taking damage to his body, to his mind, working for the good of others, not complaining, never quitting. Love is watching others rise above him and gladly following their lead. Love does not parade itself.
Love is God becoming man, born to suffer here on earth when His glory knew no bounds in heaven. Love is being misunderstood by His closest friends and allies, betrayed by one who claimed His name. Love is suffering, wounded, dying, but worst of all torn from His Father, from whom He was begotten before all time. Love is carrying the sins of His chosen and taking their punishment, all undeserved. Love is being buried in the grave, and rising again on the third day. Love never fails.
Love is freely given. We may sin so egregiously that we lose the love of those around us. Yet Jesus’ love cannot be bought with good works and cannot be lost through deeds of wickedness. Faith, hope, and love are a necessary and beautiful part of life on this side of glory, but love is the greatest of these virtues. Faith will turn to sight. Hope will become reality. But love never fails – because love will continue on into eternity. Love is forever.
Love is looking unto Jesus. When others fail to give us love, rather than clinging to them tighter, we turn and cling instead to Jesus. He alone will truly satisfy. When we are hurt and disappointed, we remember He was hurt and disappointed too. He alone will never leave us nor forsake us. He alone can fill our deepest need. Every pain and every sorrow, every trial, every tear, will be worth it in the end, when it brings our Savior near. Love is Christ coming in the likeness of men.
From the cradle to the grave, the search for love consumes us. There are times that we catch glimpses of the love our Savior gave us. Yet if we chase those tiny glimpses, seeking love from humankind, we will merely wind up disappointed, hoping that next time, things will change. We chase a multitude of things in our search for love. Yet these will never truly satisfy, for Love is Jesus.