Three words long, and yet it lacks nothing; it explains and concludes itself with perfect precision and full comprehension, leaving no room for negotiation or modifying clauses.
Beginning, middle, and end.
It doesn’t say love is sometimes kind. Or love is kind when it hasn’t had a really stressful morning. Or love is kind so long as a messy human doesn’t get its human-y-ness on love.
Love is kind.
But what I TRULY believe it’s saying is YOU are kind. Because Love is not a place or a feeling or a thing. It’s animate. It’s alive. It’s YOU. What you’re made of. Blood and bones and sinew — yes. But that invisible element binding it all, holding you together, THAT’S Love.
When God the Baker was creating your recipe, after all the measuring and adding and stirring and mixing, He took all your youness and poured it into a Love mold that could never be broken. Like cast iron but WAY stronger and WAY softer.
That mold was what you were formed inside. It is woven throughout your entire DNA. It’s like human Scotchguard. None of those stains are ever going to set in. Not a single one. People will hurt you and betray you and leave you. But you remain whole and pure. Encapsulated in the most durable substance that ever left Heaven. It’s how the bible can say preposterous things like Love is kind, without providing back doors.
We don’t have to armor our hearts. We just need to remember the Love.
I know of only one other love that out-loves relentless love, and that is unconditional love. By my own definition, this was achieved but only ONCE, by a man named Love, when He took upon His Perfect Self the flaming guilt of this world and said that me and you, all of His children, would never again be kept from Love because of what we did, are doing, and will do.
Love said, “You are mine. You are forgiven. You are enough. I will never ever ever ever stop loving you. You’re free.” . . . . . whoa. So since I am unable to dispense that love to humankind, I am daily practicing the other love. Relentless love. Love that, best to its ability, puts itself aside in the name of another. Love that stays on its feet when all the defenses launch forward. Love that chooses kindness and mercy, even when the one on the other end of it doesn’t deserve it. Let’s not even get into what WE deserve. Sometimes it will be easy: letting someone else take the parking spot for which you had been patiently waiting. And sometimes it will feel like trying to digest a stick of dynamite. The other day I was given the opportunity to relentlessly love someone who has been a constant thorn in my life. Sharp. Pokey. Irritating. Cruel. When it came to my attention that she needed relentless love, because her heart had been shattered into a million jagged pieces, I did not want to give it. I wanted to revel. Preen. Gloat. I wanted to sing “What comes around goes around.” So I did. For about 13 minutes. Then I digested dynamite. You guys, we are not here to do little things. We are here to do BIG GIANT HARD IMPORTANT THINGS. We are not here to love optionally or conveniently or occasionally. We are here to LOVE RELENTLESSLY. Which, I promise, my loves, is a thing of PRICELESS worth. This print, on the other hand, and my effusive gratitude, you can have for a modest investment of $24.00.