But what is love? What does love look like in action? How does it come alive? Truly......
Is it butterflies in the stomach, ballroom dances, batting eyelashes, and beating hearts intertwined? Is is caring cards, caressing cupids, sugary sweeties, and fragrant flowers? Is it diamonds or pearls wrapped in ribbons tied in pretty bows?
Or is it an aching heart that longs for unconditional acceptance, approval and affirmation. A heart that is reaching out to others wantingly waiting to give love and to be loved in return just because.... Because of the beauty that lies waiting there. In relationship. In closeness and emotional intimacy. A spiritual, not of this world, connection.
A heart not aching for what is expected or received but for what beauty a union in sacrifice can bring. Sacrificing wants, hopes, dreams for the sake of another's wants, hopes, and dreams. Sacrificing alone for togetherness. Sacrificing taking for giving. Sacrificing 'me' for 'you' or 'us.'
Love is the grace that abounds in the midst of mistakes. The forgiveness that follows grace and flows like a babbling brook meandering endlessly and noisily so that none can mistake its journey of restoration and rest. The transparency that comes from knowing revelation of the depths of the soul, the light and the dark, and transmitting and accepting love all the while. Sacrificing time and energy spent elsewhere on something else to give the gift of time to someone who is feeling lost, in the midst of losing, in the thick of needing. The unconditional that runs too deep for words. The love that leaves you speechless.
Being a shoulder, the hands and feet, the heart that helps the healing begin. A tool, a vehicle of love carried and conveyed without out boundaries and borders. Without conditions. Giving without being asked. Extending without expecting.
The sacrifice of self, of wants and desires, in the face of uncertainty. Letting go of agenda to empathize, trying to understand rather than imposing feelings of being misunderstood. Doing what is painful, difficult even when it seems undeserved. Without walls built and gates closed. The only guard posted is protecting love outpoured. Doing the right thing even when it hurts. Even when it feels wrong. Even when it is undeserved.
The giving rather than the getting. The loving rather than losing. The surrender rather than saving. The sacrifice rather than the selfishness. The pride swallowed.
The beauty. Hearts that collide in seeking to become one flesh in relationship. Enraptured with grace, forgiveness, sacrifice, giving, yielding and the peace and beauty that comes from the overcoming of loving in this way.
True love is not of this world. Not of the flesh but born of the Spirit.
It is rest for the weary, water for the thirsty, food for the soul.
Love. This is love. It is pure. It is simple. It is sacrifice of self unconditionally.
Our gracious God gives it to us freely and unashamedly. He gives it to us in abundance so we can freely give it to others. No matter what the circumstance.
Sacrifice. Of self. For others and for Him.
Rest. In His arms. Let others rest in yours.
Freedom. To love unconditional as He does with us. No agenda. No self. No shame.