Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Loved, Lovable, and Love

I am immensely loved - of that I am certain. Our Heavenly Father has immeasurably blessed me. My husband of 38 years has stood by my side through much turmoil and loss as well as the gloriously happy times. The children we raised together have been a joy and they have now gifted us with a quiver full of wonderful and healthy grandchildren. With few exceptions, even our extended family stays solidly by us through thick and thin. Friends, too, love me - that type of true friend who has seen you shamefully expose your dark side as well as in your most tragically sad state. They all stick around - even when I am not lovable at all. And I know how badly I can test them sometimes.

You see, I am the poster child for the saying, "when someone is the least lovable,  they need the most love". I go on tirades about this and that problem in the world, when a better soul would simply pray and act. My immovable German stubbornness is known even to those who only know me through social media - they might very well pity those who are exposed to it in real life. Oh, I know that they know that I mean well. But I’m pretty sure sometimes I can hear an eye roll over the phone or through cyberspace. Sure, I've done my share of instigating for the greater good. And perhaps there are even some passions that have had a fruitful outcome.

Yet, even knowing I am loved and that I have done some good, the question lingers – am I lovable? Quite strikingly the answer is at best – not always, or perhaps not even often. You see, as thankful as I am for the unconditional love of those who love me, I know I could be more. I could do more. If I could capture the ability to love more, I would feel more worthy of being loved. 

I know that true love is not a reciprocal thing – it is a gift given without strings. You don’t have to be lovable and you don’t have to love back in order to be loved. But for the Great Commandment to be most effective, shouldn't we all seek to love and to be lovable? Because when a gift such as true love is shared and reciprocated, it grows exponentially. It ripples across the waters of the earth and touches more and more people – until it fills the world. Isn’t that a heady goal? 

So today, as I reflect on the warm sensation of being blessed by love, I will seek to become more lovable – by loving more fully and with abandon. Perhaps, in my own stubborn way, I will find a new level of love – more like the love that has been given to me.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.