Saturday, March 23, 2013

1 Corinthians 13:1-10



I sit and ponder honor and relationship and grace.  Sitting at a coffee shop gives a certain perspective into the lives of others.  You can sit quietly and blend in; most people barely noticing that you’re there.  And, you watch, watch them all come and go.  All shapes, sizes, backgrounds-some army, some single mothers, some seen, some hiding, all with hidden scars.  Or maybe not.  I sat and watched as several people came in together.  One man walked to the door, holding her hand; then he let go and walked in before her.  I sat and simply let it sink in, to my detriment, I put myself first like that.  Next I watched a couple sit and talk for an hour, him all immersed in her every word; her taking in each moment, completely enthralled; each taking time for the other.  I watched a mother and daughter walk in; a pair I’ve often seen before and have gotten to know.  I love watching her, that mother, she’s had it hard.  I don’t know her story, but I know the man who’s supposed to be with her isn’t.  She makes it; she works hard, I know, she’s served me.  Her daughter loves her dearly; it’s so beautiful.  But still I watch, and I see brokenness of taped together people all around me, crying out for freedom.  Everyone simply wants a heart to love them, to understand them, to care for them.  And I think back to the other evening when I was the one to point and laugh.  When I was the one to not reach out.  When I was the one who watched, but didn’t do anything.  There was no honor.  There was no love.  There was no Jesus in me reaching out.  And I had to wonder why not.  Why didn’t I stop to think that I’ve been on the other side?  The side of being all alone, feeling like an outcast.  Feeling unwanted, odd, like no one will ever see me.  Why, when I know what it’s like, would I do the very thing that has been done to me?  Someone took a step and reached out a hand to me, that hand, led by a faithful Father, led to redemption from a Savior sovereign.  Someone took the time to journey with me through some of the darkest, most painful parts of my life, and is continuing to do so.  Why am I not even willing to reach out my hand to at least smile, and say “hi”?  Even if I can’t be a part of their personal journey, could I be the smile that tides them through.  Have I become so inward focused that I’ve forgotten what Jesus did in my heart?  What healing He brought and continues to bring?  I’ve been the blessed.  And it’s my turn to bless. 

                 
                                  1 Corinthians 13:1-10 (Message)
                      If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t LOVE, 
   I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

                               If I speak God’s Word with power, 
                revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day,
 and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps,
                                         but I don’t LOVE, I’m nothing.
                            If I give everything I own to the poor
            and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr,
 but I don’t LOVE, I’ve gotten nowhere.
            So, no matter what I say, what I believe,
                          and what I do, I’m bankrupt without LOVE.
  Love never gives up.
     Love cares more for others than for self.
        Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
           Love doesn’t strut,
                      Doesn’t have a swelled head,
              Doesn’t force itself on others,
         Isn’t always “me first,”
             Doesn’t fly off the handle,
                       Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
                                  Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
                                         Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
                               Puts up with anything,
                                   Trusts God always,
                                     Always looks for the best,
                                                     Never looks back,
                                        But keeps going to the end.
                                                              Love never dies. 
             Inspired speech will be over some day;
                                          praying in tongues will end;
                                       understanding will reach its limit. 
                                                         We know only a portion of the truth, 
                                                                and what we say about God is always incomplete.
                               But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

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