A valentine poem
I’m not really into poetry. I don’t mind it, but I usually don’t get it. I’m sure it’s not the poem…it’s me. But sometimes we click, poetry and me. Like this one.
(A poem about love)
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Stirring words indeed. Something to seep down past the mental defenses and penetrate into the heart of the reader (me). Words to live by. Words to live up to.
I’m writing this on Valentine’s Day, a day in which our nation turns itself inside out to gush about love. Much of the gushing is just a lot of hooey. Because real love is the kind of stuff in the poem. If the words in that poem ring a bell, perhaps you’ve heard them before. Maybe at a wedding.
They’re not really about romantic love and weddings and stuff. They’re about real life. They’re part of a larger explanation of real love that was written a long time ago. Here’s the entire section:
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 his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and 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, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,” doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end.
Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. (The Message, 1 Corinthians 13)
So in the shadow of Valentine’s Day, the question for each of us is this: Do we know what real love is? Are we able to really love someone else? Are we living the valentine poem?