To love others well, we need fill our own emptiness with divine love that never ends. Agape love is unconditional. Agape is the kind of love God feels for us even when we don’t feel it ourselves.
As Anne Lamott described it:
“You were loved because God loves, period. God loved you, and everyone, not because you believed in certain things, but because you were a mess, and lonely, and His or Her child. God loved you no matter how crazy you felt on the inside, no matter what a fake you were; always, even in your current condition, even before coffee. God loves you crazily, like I love you…like a slightly overweight auntie, who sees only your marvelousness and need.”
I remember feeling that love in church 17 years ago during one of the worst periods of my life. I was a mess. Loneliness and grief had driven me to things that make me shudder, now. But God still loved me anyway.
I looked up at the Good Shepherd in the stained-glass window as he cradled the lamb in his arm. At that moment, love settled upon me, tangible love, as if someone had come behind me and gently wrapped a soft blanket around my shoulders.
Trust the Timing
God never left me. When I was lost, The Good Shepherd came to find me as in this beautiful song from Red Letters:
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When I was single, one of the things that helped me tolerate and even embrace love songs that came on the radio was to sing them to God. I know it sounds corny, but it helped. One day, on a solo road trip, that old song came on the radio: “Some Kinda Wonderful.” I was about to change the station, when I got an idea. I substituted the name of Jesus for “my baby.” Later in the song, I sang about my sweet loving savior.
And I’m telling you, it worked. Singing love songs to or about Jesus helped ease my loneliness.
Just try it. When a love song comes on, but you don’t have a romantic interest, or if you have one who’s not good for you, substitute the higher power or ideal love of your choice. Think of someone who’s always got your back.
Can I get a witness?
I realized I could do this with any love song. I even sang love songs to my dog who was always there for me. Cause you know what dog spelled backwards is. Dogs are like mirrors reflecting unconditional love. Natalie, at Sacred Touches, agrees.
“The dogs provided more comfort and less stress than the men I dated after the divorce “
You can sing love songs to any body you want to. Because love is valuable and wonderful . It doesn’t have to be romantic love, though romantic love is pretty darn special. I’m talking about caring for someone else so much that their happiness is just as important as your own. (Love your neighbor as yourself, not more than yourself.)
Whether it’s brotherly love, sisterly love, parental love, platonic love, romantic love, self love, dog love or AGAPE God love, love is good.
I get really annoyed when someone says/commends me or someone else by saying he, or she has worked “tirelessly” when we were damn tired.
There I said it.
If someone really worked tirelessly, they would be on a lot of caffeine, or manic, or maybe just passionate about the work, but eventually, we get tired. All of us.
So what would be a better commendation?
She worked really hard. He worked from sun up to sun down. You did a good job! Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? I’m sounding a little negative here, which I don’t usually do on this blog. But hey, I’m human and this is a little pet peeve of mine.
It is possible to work tirelessly – but not forever. Okay enough of that.
There are some things I would never tire of. Things I’ve not had the chance to get tired of anyway, like a massage. Can you imagine a massage that goes on as long as you want it to? Maybe a tag team of three massage therapists. Could a person overdose on a massage that went on and on into blissitude? Could your muscles actually get tired from a massage? I’d like to find out.
Other things I don’t think I’d get tired of are: stained glass windows, soft and gentle music if it’s varied enough, the oatmeal I have every morning with fruit and walnuts, (though I wouldn’t mind pancakes for dinner once in a while). I don’t think I’d get tired of Star Trek, which I rarely watch anymore. I doubt I’d ever get tired of the color blue, though of course anything is possible. It would take a long time for me to get tired of dark chocolate.
And I truly don’t think I would get tired of God’s love. Agape. The unconditional love that never ends.
What do you never get tired of?
Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was: “tire.” So far, I’ve not gotten tired of the Saturday Stream of Consciousness prompt and post. In fact, I look forward to it. Thanks to Linda Hill.
1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.
2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.
3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.
4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.
5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.
6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!
7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.
I’m often curious about the true meaning of holidays, beyond the commercialism and promotions of our popular culture. In researching the origins of Valentine’s Day, I discovered there was more than one guy named Valentine. There were at least three martyrs named Valentine who were killed for helping Christians in one way or another. One romantic legend suggests there was a priest named Valentine who secretly helped young lovers get married against the law set by the Roman Emperor, Claudius II.
Now Valentine’s day has sent us scurrying about buying cards and candy or flowers, and perhaps going on a romantic date with our sweetheart. But what if you’re not in a romantic relationship? What if you’re not even close to having one of those? It can feel a bit lonely. I remember.
During my five years of celibacy, I decided to make Valentine’s Day about more than romance, unless you count romance with yourself. Can you have romantic love with yourself? It depends on how you define romance. One definition is: a love affair. Why not be in love with yourself? Not in a narcissistic way, but in a nurturing way. In those dry spells, when I felt lonely, I bought myself flowers and learned to say, “I love you,” in the mirror without feeling silly-though feeling silly is not always a bad thing. One Valentine’s Day, I even got myself a massage. This kind of nurturing self love is, I believe, a prerequisite for a healthy relationship with some one else. I had to learn to love myself before I could be ready to love and be loved by my soul mate.
There is also nothing wrong with using Valentine’s Day as a reminder to express platonic love to friends and familial love to siblings, parents, children and even our dogs who love us so unconditionally.
This kind of love is often called Agape. (pronounced Uh-gop-ay).
Allow yourself to feel that love from God. Let it comfort you like a soft warm blanket…… or a gentle healing light that touches the top of your head and flows gently through your whole being as you breathe slowly and deeply. Opening to the peace and comfort of agape might take practice. But know this: God is really good at this kind of love. God loves us no matter what. Forever. That doesn’t mean God is going to give us what we want when we want it. Like a loving parent, God knows what we need. And, as I’ve learned, God has perfect timing.
Let Valentine’s Day be about what ever kind of love you want. Let it be about every kind of love you want. Remember to include yourself in your circle of compassion.
For another perspective on the day of love check out this post on Wilmington Faith and Values: