At the Picket Fence
Published on October 11, 2014
I had been having one of those days with my kids. I don’t really want to name any names. But, it was mostly the oldest one. After several “please stop doing that”s and “leave your sister alone”s and “don’t make me come up there”s, my patience level was on the edge. And then it just got tipped right over that edge. I don’t remember the specifics but I know it had something to do with someone getting in someone else’s face and then someone not telling the truth about something and then someone tattling on someone and then…well…you get the idea! Everyone was immediately sent to their respective rooms while I attempted to get back to the Valentine’s Day craft I had been trying to work on prior to the countless interruptions. A sweet little craft that represented love. But I wasn’t feeling very loving. And I realized that if you are going to make a Valentine’s Day craft about love, you probably shouldn’t lose your patience with your kids right before. So I sat down right then and read through 1 Corinthians 13 and felt the conviction smack me on the forehead. “Love is patient.” Am I? “Love is kind.” Do I always show kindness? And not just on the outside but in my heart too? “It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” Ouch! Maybe I don’t like this craft after all. I think this is what is known as Divine timing! This simple little Valentine’s Day craft stopped me in my tracks. We all know that the flowers and candy and lingerie (which of course isn’t actually a gift for me ) aren’t really what love is all about. We know that it means so much more. But what about these definitions? Is this what comes to mind when we think about love? “It is not rude, it is not selfseeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” Well,yeah, I’m thinking the flowers and candy and yes, even the lingerie, sound a whole lot simpler than this definition of love. And then I got to this verse. “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” It sounds so strong. Courageous even! And it made me think about just how much courage it really does take to love…and be loved. To give it and receive it. And then, I got to the last verse. “Love never fails.” Never? But I fail. I fail in this kind of loving. I might get some of it right some of the time but I don’t get all of it right all of the time and that is for sure! Then again, I’m going to fail, right? I’m human. I’m going to lose my patience and get angry and be envious and prideful and all of those things. But, maybe this verse wasn’t written as much to instruct me in how to love as it was to remind me of the One who truly does NEVER fail! And that means my sweet Valentine’s Day craft can sit on my kitchen counter and not make me feel shamed or frustrated because I know I won’t ever be able to be all of those things all of the time. Maybe it can be a daily reminder of how grateful I am to be loved so deeply. And I guess I better go stare long and hard at it right now because I can hear someone doing something to someone who yelled at someone else about the something they touched that belonged to someone and someone is going to come tattle on the other someone!