Monday, February 14, 2011

Love and Death

And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. Mark 11:4-11

The world is a buzz with love. Valentine's Day is here. People stand several deep in the cards aisle searching for the right card to say what they cannot not. We seek expressions that are not ours to share today. We spend money to buy things that say what we cannot. The words of romance are quite easy, actually. The expressions of love, true love, are not so easy. Love is sacrificial rather than gaudy, humble rather than royal, a donkey's colt rather than white stallions. I watch as red and pink blister packs of valentines flutter everywhere and still there is so little love, true love. And yet in this same day, I have sat with those who are grieving and who know what love truly is - a son who always knew his mother's needs, a father who did everything for his children, a friend who always had a smile, a laugh and hands ready to help lift the largest load. Love is so clear in death, and it is clear that no death can stop love. Love is eternal and growing despite our losses and our lacks. Too often we strive and ache for love and only recognize it when a true love has left this world.

God bless us all this Valentine's Day that we may be agents of God's true love in this world. May our hearts be open to those least like us, may our hand be ready to offer all, may our mouths be filled with encouragement and song, and may we give our all so that others might see God's love in our midst and not only in its passing.

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