It was past midnight when he found me, cold and frustrated, by the side of the road. He was from Iran. The minister of health. His wife? A chemical engineer. Both of them tricked. His heart-broken by children who do not love well. His money stolen. After awhile he shut off the meter, would not take my money. When I got out of the car I said,
“I will be praying for you peace”. I have been. I am. There are times when loving well lays itself before you. You know exactly what love is. Sometimes being heard and being loved are so close to the same thing that most of us cannot tell the difference.
A man I work with died this fall. I liked him very much. He was one of the sly and quiet empire un-settlers. He planted rogue gardens that went against master plans. He helped me collect cigarette butts to make a display about second-hand smoke because he hated what cigarettes did to people. He had tried to quit for years…cancer took him in the end.
I want to be like him in the ways he steadily and quietly did what was right for people, despite what the bureaucracy would suggest. Despite his own best intentions and worst outcomes. Let it be so in me. Most of the time, loving people means our own weakness is publicized, there is no hiding flaws if we are loving with all of ourselves.
It is funny to me, the ease with which we speak about love, describe it like it is a simple thing, like we understand it at all.
What is love? The racing heart? The sweaty palms? The lust and the hunger? The sticky sweet voice? The hugs on your approach?
No. if mothering has taught me anything it is that I love the same with the stern voice as I do with a whispered I love you.
Love is in the patience. Love is not rushing a heart that just needs to catch up. Love is not looking around you, past you, through you. Love is in the waiting for you no matter how long it takes you to approach, how far off the prodigal might be. Love sits at the bedside of the dying, of those who don’t get better- are never healed.
Love is kind. It does not speak in acid tones but in encouragement. Love does not leave the other alone in the pain, love sits in the middle of it, moves in, digs in stiletto heels.
Love is not in the envious, the boasting, the pride. Love does not make you feel “less than” in its presence. It learns the art of confession, of apology. Love is not demonstrated by the insecure, love cannot exist when we are trying to prove ourselves.
Love is not in the push for self, or any agenda. Love flexes and moves,shapes itself around you. Love is in the way it forces itself into the jagged cracks, the broken pieces.
A heart can spin like a bottle but still end up pointing the right way and you prayed for this…but then forgot. Life is tedious in its unfolding and we don’t have the patience for a plan that looks more like eternity then a lifetime. Because Gods heart beats with the rhythm of forever while we force the beat of dying flesh. Because love…sometimes…means we just keep showing up, bringing all of ourselves. Love is long.
OH HI THERE! Joining with the five minute free write community…just to get the words flowing again!