-Pastor Melissa Fain-
4 Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, 5 it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, 6 it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth. 7 Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.
-1 Cor 13:4-8a CEB
Do you know the number one phrase I hear when I leave a group or organization?
“We should have supported you more.”
No one can do it alone. No. One.
Even Mr. Rogers was well aware that his show was not the work of him alone. He had a team that made it happen:
“My hunch is that anyone who has ever been able to sustain good work has had at least one person- and often many- who have believed in him or her. We just don’t get to be competent human beings without a lot of different investments from others.”
The Opposite of Love
The opposite of love is not hate. Hate shows someone is thinking about you. Hate is not love, but it’s also not the opposite of love. The opposite of love is nothing. Not that there are no objects, feelings or things that sit opposite of love, but that the non-action, non-feeling, non-doing for people is the opposite of love.
I don’t normally just sit in a group. I am rarely passive. I see something that needs to happen, and I act. If I can’t act, I find someone who can. The idea of just watching something broken continue to break, baffles me. The apathy alone required to watch something not work boggles my mind.
But when I leave an organization or group- I’ve given so much of myself, and never saw the same support in return. When that happens I don’t think about what I deserve or want. I think how all the resources are now out of my hands, so there is nothing more I can do. It’s like tossing a ball to a friend, and the friend just saying thank you and walking away. I have no more balls to throw, so my job here is done.
So, the statement, “We should have supported you more,” is a realization that they didn’t show the same amount of love I showed them. They didn’t consider how I attempted to create a relationship. They just wanted my resources to do what they wanted to do. They nothing’d me. My value was only to achieve their goals.
I used to lament with the group or organization when this would happen. It’s just this phrase has been said to me so often, I just shrug my shoulders and move on. They might as well be saying, “You loved us, and we didn’t love you.”
Love is a healthy relationship
Just know, no relationship is completely and totally healthy. Sometimes we lose our cool, or forget the needs of those closest to us. Part of love is understanding the true nature of our actions and being there when we mess up. In that way, love is patient and kind.
Also know, we don’t require the person or people all the time. We and they have lives beyond us. Sometimes they may need people with a different skill set than us. Sometimes they may get something that we secretly want for ourselves, but we’re happy for them. In that way, love isn’t jealous.
When we are in a relationship for ourselves, we want the world to see our actions. Real love acts for the person, and isn’t concerned about who sees it. Love doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints.
But love can hurt. Deeply hurt. In the act of seeking the Truth, many accidentally or intentionally try to stop it. When someone loves, they seek it anyway. It’s one of the most uncomfortable parts of love, but in love it must be explored. Love will seek what is just and right.
Love is what endures when everything else ends.
Christmas Eve there will be an event at www.Facebook.com/FigTreeChristian.
10 pm EST there will be a "bringing in of the light." It will be a telling of the Christmas story.