March really did come in like a lion. We felt the wind blow through our family, shaking us up. Waking us up. And the wind burns and the wind deposits a chill in the bones of man.
And the greatest of these is Love.
Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love
1 Corinthians:13 – The Message
And sometimes prayers are best reduced to “Help,Thanks,Wow” as Anne Lamott suggests in her new book about prayer.
The best of the three is love. Really.
I know this in a newer and newer way. I have known it. But there must be many definitions of “know” like the Greek has four definitions of love. This knowing takes on a richer covering of understanding. Like the tapestry has more colorful threads. And the weaving is more exquisite and intricate. This tapestry of knowing love.
March 1 knocked us around a bit. And then on March 4th it knocked us around a little more. Sweet daughter was driving when a blue hand crank smashed her windshield as she was motoring down the highway. At highway speeds. And minutes after or before, trauma blurs time, I fell down the stairs and we were really shaken up. The green and purple and blue running around my flesh was an outward sign.
But days after the highway shake up, we are still numb in our rejoicing. That the greatest of these is love. And that God protected our child.
But the hands and feet of Jesus were at work in our suffering. And the body of Christ was loving us through all of our pain. And we prayed a variation of “Help, Thanks, Wow” as Anne Lamott writes in her book on prayer because sometimes these are the true cries of the heart.
We look at the blue metal hand crank and we say “wow”. And we look at the impact on the windshield on the passengers side where there was no passenger that day. Wow, truly. Because we hear the mechanic when he says how close this was to going all the way through.
But we are even more amazed at the friendship that erupted on the scene of the accident. Our friends who came and loved our daughter. The father, mother, and child, a trio of angels ready to love our family in a difficult time. And we say “thanks”.
Our hearts are ready for the lamb part of March. The lion part is still growling and roaring a bit. But God…is growing our faith and showing us Love through His body. The body of Christ.
As I fell down the stairs and wept and shook, I was helped by two godly men. My husband and his accountability partner and best friend. And I wept at the trauma that appeared to be coming in rapid succession. The kind that leaves you shaking and asking and what’s next.
But what’s next is more Love. Because love wrapped around our pain. It bound our wounds and eased our suffering. March 1st left us shaking a bit. We had to pull together and move forward from unexpected change. And love together, The Patient One and I. We processed a big change in our lives under the mantra of we are moving forward.
But forward was paved by love to the left and love to the right. We were hemmed in by it.
Without the pain, without the trauma, without the shaking up in our lives we would have missed this action verb breaking through into our lives.
God allowed us the privilege of seeing Love cover us up. Friends blanketed us with words of encouragement, refocused our pain, and checked on us with words, written and spoken.
I read the words of a blogger friend to The Patient One. And his response was “keep banging away.” We do feel like this, often, we writer/bloggers. That we are just banging it out.
But if I can bang out love, words of love, manifestations of love and God’s grace then bang away I will.
Though I wish there were a more poetic expression of writing than banging. But I bang like a loud cymbal or a drum if I am not writing and speaking of love.
So today I swim in the ocean of Paul’s beautiful words, again. And again. And every wedding and every occasion I can dive back into to this beautiful truth, I will.
When you have soaked in love and bathed in love and basked in love, you want to give it.
These days leading up to the cross, to the Lamb of God, I want to bang out love and point to the amazing love of Christ on the Cross.
Oh I am ready for the Lamb days of March. But I am grateful for what the roaring lion showed us too. And I want to pray “thanks” to a God who loves us so much it is sometimes unfathomable. Often incomprehensible.
And “thanks” to those precious friends who love us when we are hurting and scoop us up when we fall down. Broken, bruised, banged up but loved.
The best of the three is love. Truly.