Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Catching Snow

Sometimes I wish my little sisters could be tiny again. ;-)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Perfect Love

I've been thinking lately about how immature my love must be, for I'm seeing that my human ability to love is polluted with fear. Perfect love is supposed to cast out fear, not to tolerate fear, and certainly not to cause it. ;-) I've been thinking about how ironic it is that often when we feel ourselves beginning to care about someone in a more intense and intimate way, our feelings are surrounded by fear-- fear about what the other person thinks about us, fear regarding our own vulnerability. How imperfect our (my!) treatment of love can be.

First of all, I see how often I'm selfish when it comes to my relationship with Christ. How many times must He be saddened because I put other people or things first? I wonder if it's ever hard for Him to see me make mistakes because of how fervently He desires for me to be more mature and more like Him in His perfection. He must see how much more of me there is that I could give to Him, how much more faithfully I could do Him good and not evil all the days of my life (Prov. 31). I remember times in the past before I really had a relationship with Him when I was afraid to tell Him certain things, afraid of what He'd think if only He knew that I thought the last church service was...boring. It was as if He didn't know; I was treating Him as if He were under the delusion that I was a lot more flawless than I truly was. ;-)

And sometimes these things seem to carry over into my relationships with other people. I wish I didn't care one iota if I were to become of absolutely no reputation, as did the One I should be striving to emulate out of love unaffected by the world around me. I need to work on allowing Him to eradicate selfishness from within me. In my own struggles to love people like He does, it seems to be the main cause of the fear that taints. If I would only keep my mind even more stayed on Him, I'd find peace so much more perfect, peace not disturbed by emotions. I need Him to teach me to love people without caring whether it ever benefits me. I want to be able to love simply for the sake of loving. I want to love in the greatest sense of the word, in a willing-to-lay-my-life-down for the sake of my friends way, even in the every-day sense of thinking of them first and giving of myself time after time when it seems like it might be easier to just demonstrate my love for them once and for all with a single sacrificial plunge. If I allow my friendships to be self-centered, I'll fail miserably in keeping the two greatest commandments--to love God first and my neighbor as myself. I want to love in a way that doesn't seek it's own, that doesn't think evil, that isn't easily provoked, that isn't envious, that suffers long, that does a good job of covering sins, that bears, believes, hopes, and endures.

Love covers a multitude of sins.
Love leaves no room for a multitude of sins.

Help me not to fear...