Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love is patient”
I must confess, that’s the line that often trips me up when I read this passage. I still struggle with patience, even though I have grown in this area over the years.
But quite honestly, although February is the shortest month of the year, it always feels like the longest month by far to me. Even though (most likely due to climate change) we’ve had a strangely warm month in Toronto, still the cold and dark days have a way of catching up to me. Seasonal Affective Disorder, aka the winter blues, is a very real thing.
When patience dwindles, our ability to show love becomes strained.
But the people we meet each day desperately need love to be demonstrated through us. It is times like these that self-care becomes one of the most important things we can do. So in these last few days of February, with our missional focus still very much on love and self-care, we’d be wise to spend some intentional time thinking about what works for us in terms of self-care.
Is it silence? Prayer? Meditation? Yoga? Exercise? Music? Spending time with loved ones? Travel?
Any or all of these are good things to do. They all help to expand our patience levels, which then help us have more space in our lives to love ourselves and others.
And that helps us continue to strive to be ‘The Hand of God in the Heart of the City’.
Resounding Gong or Clanging Cymbal?
Love is patient,
I impatiently keep on reading to find out more about what love is
But instead I dwell on patience for a while
I want patience
I want it now!
I want peace, safety, security, family, justice
I want those now!
My heart is full of desires
Some of which are selfish,
Others are focused on…others
I live in the tension of my own self-absorbed passions
And my hope for the whole world
And I want it all to be perfect
God of all love, hope and life
God of eternity
God of patience
Forgive me for my unquenchable need for everything right now
Forgive me for my raging temper when I don’t get my own way right now
Forgive us for our disputes and tensions and political divisions just because we don’t have patience to work things out
It seems Lord God that you have something in mind when you make me wait
I believe I am supposed to learn something about life and love through waiting
And while I often don’t quite get how you work or why you do things
I trust in you and dwell in the certainty that you love me while you patiently shape me