“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” I Corinthians 13:4,5
As we approach Valentine’s Day – the above scripture verse comes to mind. Greg uses this scripture quite often at wedding ceremonies as well. It is the perfect model of what true love is all about – we all strive for it in our lives – very few succeed. I mean – who could ever be that perfect? So unselfish all the time. It simply isn’t possible. I mean – “not easily angered” and “keeps no record of wrong” what’s that all about? Just when we think we are pretty good at putting things behind us – keeping no record – something will come up and remind us that we are not completely over something that someone did to us.
My husband calls me a “bleeding heart” because I have a rare ability to be able to embrace and love – emphathize and become involved with others who need a little extra love and reassurance. When we were young youth pastors living in Jeannette, PA – there were some teenagers that really needed extra love and attention. Two of them were brothers being raised by a single Mom. Life was tough for them and we did our best to get them involved at the church and we loved on them as best as we could. There were some others as well – we had a group of a lot of troubled young men. I was like their “mom” for that year we were there – and I wasn’t that much older than they were! They became my “lost boys” – and the nickname stuck. Throughout all of our ministry years – there have always been young men that allowed me “in” to their world and they became part of my “lost boys” over the years. I still pray for many of them today and wonder where some of them are. In fact – I have tried to find some of them on facebook – because so many people are on there now. I keep hoping and praying that I will see some of them again.
There are some that we have been able to reconnect with recently via the internet – and it’s been great to see what has become of all of them that were once a part of our lives and ministry throughout the various places we have lived in ministry. More recently it has still been with the same heart that I have reached out to young men and women – needing just a little extra love from another “mom” – and though it’s just as important for the young woman to feel that extra love – I would have to say that I have always had a special ministry for the “lost boys”. Having an 18 year old son and a 22 year old daughter – has lent itself for both of them over the years to bring their friends home and it has allowed me an opportunity to show special love and acceptance to them – young or old.
It is always a risk to have that kind of love. It is sometimes difficult for others to truly see your heart when it comes to loving others. But despite the obstacles associated with it – I have found that for me – it is the only way to live. I have had to move past any hurt or rejection or misunderstanding – and not let it affect just who I am. I have had to be willing to open my heart and let God lead me me to the next person who needs a little TLC in their life.
I try to live by the scripture above. I fall short. Everytime. I am not patient by nature – but I have always tried to be kind. I hope I am never rude – but I’m sure I have failed at that one too. I try to love from pure motives – try not to let my emotions get in the way – but I sometimes fail at that too. I have blown it so many times. But I will not give up – or let a bad experience from embracing people – stop me from being what I feel God has led me to do.
How do you love? Is it hard because you are afraid of hurt? Me too. But is it more important to love anyway – because it’s the right thing to do? Yes.
I am thinking about all my “lost boys” and “lost girls” today. Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you. ♥