Updated: Feb 9
When I ponder this question, I look back at happy memories and they are almost always related to times spent with loved loves. Childhood memories of family vacations with my grandmother, birthdays and Christmas celebrations with my parents and extended family. Grown up memories of a wedding and special anniversaries. Once in a while, these memories may be related to something I achieved with hard work and perseverance, but mostly they are about relationships.
I think about the famous love passage in scripture that describes the characteristics of love. “Patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs”.
It goes on…"does not delight in evil, rejoices in the truth, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Never fails.”
Most of us are used to hearing lyrics or seeing murals, slogans, and hashtags that read “love never fails”.
In reality, we know all too well we can’t keep up with this list, especially it’s “always” and “never” phrases.
The only love that never fails us and keeps no record of our wrongs is that of the One who created us and “has loved us with an everlasting love”. The love that never fails us, the love that never leaves us or forsakes us. The one love that can empower us and give us the security and assurance to be able to love the ones in our lives well, even if we don’t embody all the characteristics in that love passage. We love imperfectly, while holding on to the perfect Love that can change us in the process. We love “because He first loved us”.
But what if one didn’t have that happy family memory or never knew about that “everlasting love”?
What if they were trapped in slavery and the days went on without even a hint of love, and, in fact the opposite of it was a reality?
That’s where we have the opportunity to share the love of God in us in tangible ways…
by raising funds for rescue operations and rehabilitation,
by sharing stories of hope and rewoven shalom,
by creating designs to be made or purchasing something that is made by a survivor or someone at risk
so that, now,
she can have a dignified job and experience healing,
provide for her family so that her children can actually get an education and the cycle of poverty can be broken.
So that, now, as her heart heals, she can love her family well, and create memories for them, memories of being loved, happy times in a loving home.
And, while we do that, most of all, we pray for her to come to know and share the one love that is “everlasting” and will “never leave nor forsake” her.
So, in this month, while celebrating with loved ones, let’s also share love and give it away to those who need it most.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with loving kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3