Love and learn

Just one word – the word that makes the world go round. LOVE. They asked if I’d speak on that.

For forty minutes.

I don’t accept many speaking engagements these days, but I said yes to that one. The mission of the event and the organization echoed my own: to make Jesus known; to reflect God’s love and truth to one person at a time or one crowd at a time. Sometimes I use words.

But I said yes for another reason. As every teacher knows, it’s always the one up front who learns the most, long before students even show up. That’s been true every time I’ve spoken or taught, regardless of audience size.

I welcomed the chance to think more deeply about love; to glimpse through my preparation new facets of what most of us take for granted. To explore how to give and receive it with a fuller heart. I feel weak in the subject of love so very often. I have daymares of walking into a graveyard and unearthing my own tombstone: Kathleen Gibson. She had all the right words, but little love to prove them. She will not be missed.

It turns out I can’t make the date the organization had planned for that event. Perhaps the Source of All Love wants me to learn more before I teach so many others. I’m pondering that Divine voice, reflected strongly in these remarkable words from a friend’s Facebook post on married love – author unknown:

“Lifelong commitment is not what everyone thinks it is. It’s not waking up early every morning to make breakfast and eat together. It’s not cuddling in bed together until both of you peacefully fall asleep. It’s not a clean home and a homemade meal every day.

“It’s someone who steals all the covers. It’s sometimes slammed doors and a few harsh words, disagreeing, and the silent treatment until your hearts heal. Then..forgiveness!

“It’s coming home to the same person every day that you know loves and cares about you, in spite of and because of who you are. It’s laughing about the one time you accidentally did something stupid. It’s about dirty laundry and unmade beds without finger pointing. It’s about helping each other with the hard work of life! It’s about swallowing the nagging words instead of saying them out loud.

“It’s about eating the cheapest and easiest meal you can make and sitting down together at 10 p.m. to eat because you both had a crazy day. It’s when you have an emotional breakdown and your love lays with you and holds you and tells you everything is going to be okay, and you believe them. It’s when “Netflix and chill” literally means you watch Netflix and hang out. It’s about still loving someone even though sometimes they make you absolutely insane.

“Living with the person you love is not perfect and sometimes it’s hard, but it’s amazing and comforting and one of the best things you’ll ever experience.”

I couldn’t agree more.