"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 of His mysteries and making everything as plain as day and if I have faith to say to a mountain, 'Jump!' and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give all I earn to the poor or 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, no matter what I believe, no matter what I do, I'm bankrupt without love." ~ For King and Country
Recently I had a situation where I was hurt by a friend. It could have been unknowingly...but in my hurt and humanness I saw it as deliberate. It didn't have to be a big deal, but in my humanness it was. As tears slipped down my cheeks I held on to the hurt that started to swell into bitterness and an ugliness that desired to 'get back' at this friend that I love. I love her still. I went to sleep with a heavy heart and woke up still hurting, not just for me, but for my children as well. How many times have I allowed small situations with friends obliterate my joy? In my humanness I take it personally. I always have. It can either be a downfall that I have...to take things personally and to care...or it can be my strength. I prefer to see this as a strength.
I take it personally because I care. I take it personally because I love the people that I have opened my heart to and when one of them hurts me, it cuts deep...and instinctively I go into protective mode and build walls. I say ugly things that are rooted deep in that hurt. Doesn't matter if I mean them or not, those words should never escape my lips. It was in that hurt that I turned to a friend who I knew would pull zero punches with me and give it to me hard. I realized I wanted justification for my anger, confirmation that I had been wronged...something she would not give me. Why? She knew that it would NOT point me to love, but to bitterness and ultimately away from what God says about anger. Even when I do not want to hear her bloody answers, I remember that I sought them out, knowing it'd be Truth. And I knew I wouldn't get the answers I wanted (nor the justification) from my conversation with her...I craved the gut punch of God saying, 'absolutely not. LET IT GO.' Letting something go is EXTREMELY difficult for me. An ongoing struggle of mind, heart, spirit, and the fighter inside me that desperately needs justice. Sometimes that 'justice' is more of what I think the punishment should be rather than what our perfect Judge plans. But then while I was driving this song by For King and Country came on and the man's voice filled my ears...without love, I AM NOTHING. I immediately knew God was looking at me dead on and telling me, LOVE. LOVE LIKE CRAZY. In that moment I was able to let go...and I realized that I WANT to be the proof of Jesus...not the proof of a loveless world.