As I came to realize that today is March 22, I decided to play "March 22" on my iPod (by Clarence & the neon iguanas). I have known this song for many, MANY years. I know the gents who brought it to life. All of that beauty is not the point of my writing today.
Storms of life come and go. The sea of change ebbs and flows. As I experience life here in Cameroon, a few thoughts swirl through my head:
"perfect love casts out fear"
"love does not harm a neighbor"
"encourage one another, build each other up"
"take the log out of your own eye before trying to remove the speck out of your neighbor's"
"love your enemies"
"bless and do not curse those who hate you"
"rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn"
"love others as you love yourself"
I clearly have much to learn at the feet of Love. In my innermost being I want to love with a very perfect love. I want to love in thought and in action. I want to love myself better, I want to love others better. I want to love those who hate and mistreat me.
"Want" is weak. Rather I choose to love. As I learn and grow, I believe that Love does not disappoint any one who has chosen it. Mistakes may indeed be made, but Love holds no record of the wrong. Clearly Love does not rejoice in the wrong, but Love protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres so that it is over-joyed when Truth is acknowledged. In this way Love shows patience and kindness. Love also does not know envy or pride.
Love has much work to do in my life. "March 22" says that no matter the storms that pound my life, I can stand firm in Love. When my life falls apart Love is there. Love calls me to be the physical manifestation towards others of Love. It is Love itself that empowers me to fulfill this calling. I believe Love provides the impulse of action to this kind of love. It is then my choice as to how I will respond.
Love is not limited to any particular religious system or even limited by the rejection of religious systems. Love is limited only by our response to it.