“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” — Anne Lamott

1 Corinthians 13
John 8:1-11
John 15:12-17

Who really expects love to deliver anymore? We hear the word everywhere, but we also see the reality in the same places.

A girl seeing someone was asked if she’d consider a date with someone else. She replied, “He’s not my boyfriend, but I don’t want to jeopardize anything.”

“Does he treat you well?”
She half-shrugged, with a resigned tilt of the head to her shoulder.
“Does he make you feel good about who you are?”
Same response.
But she didn’t want to jeopardize this.

Another woman meets a guy she likes. He’s separated from his wife, and the two begin dating. She moves in with him, as he plans to divorce his wife. Three years later, she’s waiting on him to divorce his wife and marry her.

Pearl Jam’s song, “Better Man” encapsulates this acceptance of non-love. “She lies and says she’s in love with him/ can’t find a better man…” The double entendre jabs. On one hand she scoffs, and thinks, “Yeah, right, like there’s nothing better.” Yet her fears remain, telling her, “There really is nothing better for you.”

Look at the Apostle Paul’s description of love in 1 Corinthians 13. How many people do you know who love like that?

Look at the Nazarene Jesus’ understanding of it. He washes his students’ feet. He forgives their failures but refuses to allow them to remain fledgling. One of those students identifies himself as “the one Jesus loves.” He and ten others watched love, listened to love, and experienced love change them. They then proceeded to live and die for love, for Jesus.

We think of such love like Paul mentions and Jesus demonstrates the way we do magic: charming, but we see the dull and numbing realities facing us. Those include routine, few surprises, and a begrudging acceptance of what we settle for.

So what then? Do we continue with hearts half-asphyxiated by boredom and life’s depression? Or could we too begin to listen and watch for love to change us? Might it really exist? Could Jesus actually know something we don’t?

Let’s take a chance. Let’s take a look at the Nazarene. What have we to lose? This lack of faith, hope, love? We know that’s not life, and we are dying wanting it.

What do you believe love is?
Have you experienced what you believe?
How do your beliefs about love compare with those of Paul and Jesus? 


© 2006