I've been thinking about this L word though...
I can't even imagine how many times a day I say "I love". I love chocolate, I love coffee, I love her shoes, I love that necklace, I love to run, I love, I love, I love! I don't really mean it, though. Chocolate can lift my spirits, coffee keeps me sane, shoes are a collector's item for me, jewelry is fabulous, and running is my therapy. These are all wonderful things that I enjoy, but I don't really love them. I say this word about things all the time, but, I don't really say it to people. And, when I do, it's more like a "luv you"...a passing phrase that sounds endearing, but from which I am emotionally removed. For me, it's a conscious thing. It protects me from getting hurt, it keeps me at a distance, and I like it that way.
This past weekend, Beth Moore came to town. One of her remarks was about love. She challenged us to put the "I" back in our "Love You". Apparently, it isn't just me. I don't know that other people take out the "I" consciously, but without it, it is less intense. She feels that we need to express that love for others strongly, for their good and ours. I have thought about this quite a bit. At first, I thought it was dumb, in all honesty. Does it really matter? I'm set in my ways and I have my reasons. It's one letter that happens to be a vowel. It shouldn't bother me so much, but tonight at church, it came up again.
As I left church this evening, I was hoping for a sense of renewal. I was a bit disappointed when I didn't feel that sense of relief after the day I had. As I walked to the parking lot, I heard a little girl telling her mother what she learned in Children's Worship. They are memorizing scripture while the adults are praying in 'Big Church'. She carefully began reciting 1st Corinthians 13:4.
|1st Corinthians 13:4|
I was so impressed with how well she did! It was the most precious moment of my day listening to the pride in her voice. Then, it got me thinking...
This is what love is supposed to be. This is how we are called to love. This is why we are meant to say it and truly mean it. As I read the characteristics, I realize I'm not so far off from the type of love this scripture describes. What I've found is I don't know when to let go. I may not say it, but in my heart, I grow attached. I trust too much, I'm too nice, I don't take enough pride in myself, and I hope too much. Where is the practicality in that???
I will come right out with it...I lost my marbles this morning. I, who am rarely emotional, became an emotional wreck in a matter of minutes. It started out with a few tears and turned into a panic attack from being so shocked by my balling escapade. I cannot even remember being this upset in the past. It took me a long while to gain my composure, and I can't lie and say I did it gracefully either. That experience illustrated just how passionate I am about kids and their success. From that experience, I learned that I am human. As hard as I try, I am just as 'normal' as everyone else, and it is ok to shed tears. Ok, I typed that, but I'm still trying to convince myself about the tear shedding!
Most importantly this traumatic experience brings me right back to the L word. I truly care about all of my students. I am doing everything I can for them, and it is wearing me out. I want the best for them even when they don't want it for themselves. But, I must LOVE them the way I have been called to love them even when they don't deserve it. I must be kind and patient. I must persevere. I must be the one who doesn't fail them.
Yes, I will fail. I have to let go of that. But, they must always count on the fact that I am their advocate.
So, I have taken all of this too heart. I'm still stubborn about my love. It means something when I say it...at least when it comes to people. :)