We’ll hear this word many times this month and yet, do we even know what it means?
We say, “I love coffee. I love your shirt. I love that show on Netflix.“
We usually express love to each other by giving. It might be candy, flowers, or a gift. But in, my experience true love begins with death—death to self so that we might see the One we love instead of ourselves.
If we want to truly love, we must have an unending source to draw from so we can continue to give love even when it’s hard or when we are weary. If we only give out of ourselves our well will run dry.
I remember when we were facing the end of my beloved husband’s life just a few years ago. I felt regret for all the times I’d held a petty grudge or chosen to serve myself instead of him. During his last days, I asked for grace from God to give me the strength and ability to serve him well in love. I knew I needed the well that never runs dry to access all that I wanted to pour out on him.
It wasn’t enough for me to simply say, ‘I love you’ and I wasn’t sure his mind could fully understand what that meant, as the cancer had affected it. But my hands could hold his, massaging in the lotion that kept the bedsores away. They could tuck in his blanket, brush his teeth, and comb his hair. My voice could speak calmly and whisper in his ear.
My hands could speak what my words could not contain. And when I was weary, I would let Jesus fill my cup.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Cor. 13:4-8).