An irritating song interrupts my aggravation in the too-early morning hour–
“You’re a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce!”
At this time of writing it is about 4:30am, and I am just about ready to take my pillow and gently lay it over the screaming nostrils of the man sleeping next to me.
For hours he has managed to make noise similar to a small child with a harmonica.
These are the times love is just. plain. difficult.
It goes against my love language entirely (since I am a ‘words of affirmation’ girl) when my thoughts are less than affirming toward this man I love. Yes, sleep deprivation drives my inner irritation, but still, love is not easy.
I’ve read that love is patient. Love is kind. Etc. And before I fall into guilt-ridden-self-condemnation, which can only be cured by the consumption of large amounts of chocolate, how about we stop at the first two for a moment, so not to be too overloaded.
Love is patient.
Patience this time of year? With extreme crazies on the streets and in shopping malls–many vying for the perfect present to present their loved ones? Yikes. Practicing patience is difficult. Only the other day I was temporarily sidelined and near-profanities entered my mind as I used my horn to relay my aggravation on the lady who nearly took me out of this life prematurely with her pickup truck. And get this, even though I honked for dear life as I swerved myself into safety, she was entirely obliviously to the fact I was even there.
Love is kind.
Ah, kindness. Reminds me of years gone by with my sweet little ones all dressed up nice and pretty and standing in line ready to see Santa, but their kindness only lasts mere moments before sugar and spice is replaced by jacked-up discord which causes dissension among the ranks. So, my rote response to these slithering creatures, that I am convinced cannot be my own flesh and blood, is the all-too-familiar in the parental playbook of phrases which should create better behavior,
“You better behave or there will be no presents..”
Come on, I am not the only one who throws out threats whispered into their dirty little ears to receive a few minutes of peace? I would continue today, but since it didn’t work then, I am certain it won’t work now that they’ve entered adulthood.
Let’s face it, my patience and kindness are only so full on the love-o-meter if I do not take time to replenish my reserves with love.
The reason why the Grinch’s heart grew in a solitary moment was because of love. Not patience. He had none. Not kindness. He was a surly character.
No, it was love. Love that grew deep within his being, and exploded onto the folks in Whoville.
I fill up the reserves this morning with a reminder of such love from 1 Corinthians 13:
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.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.