A Practice Of Love

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During my Mothers pregnancy and whilst I was growing in her womb there were all kinds of complications and worries, and conversations were had with doctors and consultants whether to keep me or not. When I was actually born I was so poorly there were real worries that I would not survive for very long. I am pleased to say, that was nearly 40 years ago and I am pretty fit and well despite those anxious opening months for my parents and the nurses and doctors of Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

Rabbits-Love-Cute-Fluffy-Animal-Two-Rabbits-In-Love-1024x1280 What does love look like to us? Past the honeymoon period, behind the pictures of happiness, loving that is sometimes more a decision than a fluttery feeling that moves us to action. What might that raw, wonderful, beautiful thing we call love look like? Perhaps seeing past our friends severely disabled sons disability and instead seeing who he is and the joy he finds being with his mum and younger brother, or my Facebook friend who posts pictures of her blind little boy playing with his baby sister.

What about the elderly women who though totally exhausted, changes the bed for the umpteen time for her husband of many years, who has now grown incontinent. Or the husband helping his disabled wife who together are isolated by the geography of where they live is also isolated along with his wife from the help of neighbours and friends. Sometimes love can be an act of will, a decision as habitual as brushing your teeth.

Do I enough will power to love in such a sacrificial way? I haven’t been tested to that extent yet but I hope so. However I know that love is not a list of fairy tale sequels, nor is it drudgery of every day moments. If we look we may find that there are moments within the relationship that are cherished, a moment of clarity and humour for someone racked with depression or Alzheimer’s, the wonderful surprise at someone offering to help you up the curb with a wheel chair or open a door for you.  We live in a world where there are plenty of people who live with and love the dying, the disabled person, who sit alongside their loved one who can’t feed themselves, or who carry their partner up the stairs at night to bed because their legs have forgotten how to work. These people model a kind of love that is deeply challenging and vibrant and lived out as a practice of love in action, so much deeper than a fuzzy feeling or the superficiality that love can be.

This practice of love is also an image of Godly love, A God we see in Jesus that’s steps into our world and sits alongside our innate brokeness and sees beyond our inadequacies to the man, women, child the lord always wished for us to be, that circumstances and life may have robbed us of for now, but Christ takes our hand and leads us into eternity where all will be well and all will be made well.

Love takes effort, it’s looking past the honeymoon period which is where most romantic comedies lie. It’s not the hell of the film What Dreams May Come where Robin William’s travels from his place in heaven into hell to rescue his wife, but perhaps for some they feel they need rescuing. Today I choose to love my wife, that may mean beginning with sorry, rather than flowers, that may mean stepping into her world, rather than telling her what I think and feel or whats going on in my life. The practice of Love is about loosing ourselves a little for the sake of the bigger picture, of an enduring relationship, of family stability to model a love that lasts, endures and overcomes.

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2 Comments

  1. James Melbin says:

    A prayer I’ve been saying to God recently is that God should give me more of His spirit of love. I feel like I don’t love people enough to the standard. I feel like I have to let hatred and pride god and let love and humility totally take the place.

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    • Andy says:

      an awesome and honest prayer james, don’t be too hard on yourself, often the Lord moulds us over time and experiences. I am sure the lord hears your prayer. God Bless Andy

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