Unnoticed by the men at the table, she hugged the jug close to her body, precious oil that cost her everything, and wove her way through the servants. Eyes cast down and chin trembling, she stood before him. All conversation ceased.
Gripped by the immensity of his love and the release of her burden, she sobbed, her tears bathing his feet. She dropped to her knees and emptied her jar as well, the fine scent flowing over his feet and rising around them. The men gasped as she unbound her hair, let it tumble to the floor, and wiped his feet.
Real love isn’t measured in flowers or chocolates, fancy dinners or sweet cards. For all those who dreaded Valentines Day and are happy to see it pass, that is a relief. Others are diminished when it ends, perhaps only having love expressed to them on designated days such as this. No matter where you stand on the spectrum, the problem is, we are incomplete, imperfect, even at our best.
We cannot give whole love.
The ancient book says it this way:
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 I don’t love, I’m nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, 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,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps 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 right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.