Big love

Thirty-eight years ago, when I was young and not very wise at all, I somehow did the wisest thing–I married the man that I share my life with today. And even though I did make that promise soberly, at the time I never imagined I would need the promise. I thought holding on would be the easiest thing.

It‘s a different kind of loving than I had thought it would be, a little more stretching than I was planning on. Not a perfect love. More ballad than fairy tale. But he makes it easy. Funny and clever, gentle and kind, a full-of-grace every-day reminder of God’s love.  

So much water has gone under our bridge, children and chaos and noise. Storms and obstacles and churning rapids. Trouble and sorrow and loss.

But there has been joy. So many good days filled with soft trickling and tender light. 

Through it all I have been blessed with this big love. A place where my heart is safe, where I am home.

God has been holding on to us, to our promise. God has been teaching us how to love.

I have been thinking about 1 Corinthians 13. Love never fails. God is certainly not saying that we never fail, that we can love perfectly. Part of the magic of old love is the understanding that someone knows all of our weak places and so many of our secrets and still cherishes the best parts of us.

It is the actions of love that never fail.

That kind of love looks like patience. It looks like kindness. It isn’t filled with envy, boasting, or arrogance. It doesn’t seek its own.

(And isn’t that the hardest part? Seeking someone else’s good and not your own?)

It isn’t irritable. It isn’t full of resentment. It does not rejoice in wrongdoing.

That kind of love bears all things. Believes all things. Hopes all things. Endures all things.

It never ends.

That kind of love is more than flowers or candy or candlelight dinners.

More than laughter or passion or romance.

It’s big love–love that stretches and pulls and fills all the spaces.

That kind of love is from God.