Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Everybody Deserves To Be Loved

What is it about being at 30,000 + feet that makes me want to write?

Debbie and I are on the final leg of a journey that took us from our “love hovel” in the St. Louis ‘burbs to visit her dad and step-mother-in-law in the Richmond ‘burbs. We are truly “burben.” It’s been a great trip. One of the memorable ones. The weather was good three out of four days. Debbie’s step-mom is winning a battle with breast cancer. She was tired but doing well. Hey, if ever you have a right to tiredness it’s after a round of chemo therapy.

But that’s not really the point.

Somewhere along the way in the last few years I’ve begun to question “love.” I don’t doubt its existence or that I have experienced it frequently on my earthly journey. Still, I seem to have traversed a period where things in general have been ... harsh. There has been plenty of frustration. A fair amount of angry people. And over-all I’ve just seen a lot of things that I don’t really want to see. Ever. Not again. “Good” can turn “mean” in an instant. “Trusting” can turn “accusing.” Friendship can fade. What you once believed to be solid can prove itself sponge. I’ve found my motives called into question so many times that I’ve begun to question them myself. The Hand of God has been frequently visible but His voice has often been quiet. Less than a whisper. More like a memory. A very desired memory.

If you are reading this and thinking I am talking about you the odds are tremendously high that I am not. So relax. Read or don’t. My job is to write.

The point of this trip we are wrapping up is love. Hopefully it has been love in a pure form. I hope we have given it freely though it has come at a cost. Nothing is free in the world of commerce. Still, if I have learned anything over these trying episodes it is to always err on the side of love. Even if nobody believes that is what you are doing. Love anyway. Even if they attack your motivations. Love anyway. And so when weighing financial considerations against the desire to love without reservation ... indeed without “counting the cost” ... we voted on love. My in-laws are probably reading this and I wish they were not but I have to write it anyway.

Everybody deserves to feel loved. I do not know where I was sitting or what I was doing when it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps I (we) needed to show them that they are a loved and cherished part of our family. They have been to my home multiple times since I have been to theirs. I am ashamed to admit that. But I do admit it. I have not done a good job of showing love. Honestly, what better time to show someone that you care deeply for them than when they are sick? What better time to break your habitual absence than when they might just be in need of a hug? There is an answer to that question. It is not rhetorical. The appropriate answer is “at every opportunity.”

When it comes to love, I fear that I have not been very opportunistic. I have no plea but guilt. No excuse but ignorance. I have made an art form out of speaking before I think, acting before I consider, and living to draw attention to the wrong thing. I have forgotten that humor can coexist with gentleness, fun with kindness, and that I most often receive when I am focused on giving.

And for the fact that it took chemo therapy to remind me of that, I do nothing but repent.


Anonymous said...

All have sinned and come short of glory of God. I too lack in giving love and probably getting love. Jesus defined that as sin. I too repent.

As your brother (a fisher of bass) I need to join you as a fisher of men. We should cry together and laugh together and all mankind (that includes woman) should join us because we all need to give and get love and look past how ugly we all can be from time to time.

I do not know of any sin of yours but you have my forgiveness and I ask for yours. I do pray for all our forgiveness and our understanding of love which you so correctly wrote about.

Thank you,

A Loud Mouth Bass Fisherman

Earth Muffin said...

I'm glad to hear that Sandy is doing well.

Gregg said...

Human beings were created with a razor-thin line between opposites: Love/Hate, action/in-action, fight/flee, trust/distrust, etc.

This is a good thing! Why? Because it keeps us alive, often enough. Imagine if you were driving in your car and you needed to wait until the end of the song you were singing to get out of the way of that jack-knifing semi!

The only problem is, sometimes the human hair-trigger is pulled when it doesn't need to. When people are under stress, surprise or shock, this is common. I suspect that some around you have felt that in the past couple of years while God led you on a bit of an adventure.

As far as the rest of your revelations? You are one of the wisest people I 'know.' If occasionally you realize what you need to do only in retrospect, welcome to how us un-wise live EVERY DAY!

Ron said...

I'm honored by your comments, Greg. But you really need a new "wise guy" in your hero hall of fame.

thanks so much.