Sock Monkeys and Beaver Dams

She slips the hot pink sock monkey in her bookbag, takes it to school, and sleeps with it last night. At sixteen gestures of love from Mother to daughter can still hold places in the heart. A Valentine Love gift. The giver didn’t know the weight of the gift. Couldn’t imagine what the transaction would mean.

And we giggle when we squeeze it together and the monkey says silly one-liners. Are we fifty two and sixteen? Feels like childhood, true early childhood revisited. And its off to high school, out of the comfort of home, into the world which can bear down and crush the spirit. Where young boys can hurt young girls with words and actions.

My phone has a message waiting…. waiting. Its been so very long since I’ve heard this voice. It feels like Grace to have a break through on this day. It is Grace. My breathe is taken away. I pause in the receiving. As much as this transaction means to my heart, these words delivering love, I rest at the place of why is this so very rare. Why do words come from that end so blue moonish.

Why are the pronouncements of love so infrequent? If today feels right, why not daily or weekly?

Why does one who is so intimately a part of send sweet words of encouragement and love so occassionally?

What blocks, and dams up a natural flow from the source to the rivers? What logs or rubbish keep the waters from flowing downstream where they refresh and nourish and bless the life below? What clogs and impedes the flow of life giving expression out and onward to a place of blessing? What has built up like a beavers dam causing a blocking of the natural delivery system that could exist, should exit?

“And by and by Christopher Robin came to an end of things, and he was silent, and he sat there,
looking out over the world, just wishing it wouldn’t stop” — Winnie the Pooh

The gift was grace, the gift was love and I will always love the giver. Because the clog in the flow may remain. I will always love the giver.

C.S. Lewis write: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung out and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements;lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless– it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

Can I pick the log out of my eye, the fluff out of my ear, and the rubbish out of my stream to let frequent, extravagant love flow from me.

What overflowing, life-giving, affirmative love can I pour out in a note, a call, a spoken word, a message on a phone waiting…. waiting.

Love “puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.” – 1 Corinthians 13:7

“Love never dies” – 1 Corinthians 13:8

What fully alive, fully present, fully overflowing hot pink sock monkey moments are there waiting to be lived, in love?


The Way of Love

1 Corinthians 13 – The Message

The Way of Love

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 don’t love, I’m nothing.

If I give everything I own to the poor …., 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………..

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps on going to the end.

Love never dies…………

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 now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation:Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly.  Ad the best of the three is love.

The Best Of The Three Is Love

I want to love like that.

Cover fully in a cloak of love, wash in an outpouring of infinitesimal detail of nurture, care about the most precious ways of lovings….love.

Her hallmark is care and nurture to a high degree. A twinkle in her eye of that next small yet grand expression of love.  Pillows of down fluffed just right, lemons freshly picked from her tree sent out the door with her children to squeeze, experience, savor.  The fruit of her love.

Sharing a book on Ireland or Maine, asking won’t you look on beauty with me.  Won’t you share the smallest of treasures with me.  And let’s linger.  Let’s talk.  Let’s savor this moment.

The cheese is softening in the warmth of the window ledge and it will have reached its own cheesey perfection soon.   In the world of Saga lovers it will be divine perfection.  A love gift.

I want to learn more about love from her.  How chicken baking tells children I want to nourish and feed you with all that I am and all that I have.  I want to fill your soul with my love.

Extravagant love in the simple.

Learn to receive the smallest love gifts, a touch, a word, a gesture, time spent with family with a deep appreciation.

And to respond by giving.

To hand out freely to give richly to savor all.

Because I have experienced the love of this woman I know love in this way.  Dwelling on the love language of nourishing and nurturing and love in the details leads me to think on the absence of these.  The what if these were not.  The pain of void of love in the details.  The inattention to all the small gestures of grace and love and tenderness.
The pain that comes from being ignored and unloved.

She tells me she was stopped by the man on the street, the local reporter while shopping at the Piggly Wiggly.  She is beaming with something simple yet meaningful she wants to share.  She tells of the young woman so cold, no sweater shivering.  The reporter asks, begs really, “You’re my last interviewee, after you I can go home.”

“So I said well sure.”  The question from the newspaper reporter was what is the most important thing in your home?

She smiles like a warm and wonderful secret is lying in wait. Like she needs and wants to share what she has discovered. She asks me not to tell her husband she wants him to be surprised.

“I told them my family.”  Family is her greatest treasure.

We prepare for church and she brings a gift of warmth to my shoulders, covers me in fur.  Love gifts always stirring in her heart and mind.  Her heart is beating with excitement because she knows she will be covered by the words of her beloved preacher.  The man whose own life has touched her a fresh.  And she cherishes the weeks remaining before she’s left to carry on without her beloved preacher.  The repetition of her deep respect and devotion for him penetrates my own heart as I grieve this upcoming loss, this void which will cause her deep pain.

To hand out freely, to give richly, to savor all.

To love extravagantly.

I want to love like that.