In the last few years, I've realized that love is not a noun. It's a verb. Love is nothing without action. It is not a passive, mamby pamby, lollipop, floaty thing that only lives for itself in the heat of feeling. It is a warrior of purpose that strides through the darkness and brings light despite the odds.
The most profound examples of love are those that come from pain. When you can stare into the face of an angry person, take his or her abuse and hold it in love, refusing to retaliate with similar venomous words, you understand the power of the love warrior.
When you experience a betrayal of trust and have the patience to wait for change and redemption in the betrayer...and know the right timing to walk away if necessary without anger or unforgiveness, then the warrior is working in your heart.
When you lose a loved one too soon and for no legitimate reason, and you can see the beauty of that person's short life and carry on his or her legacy, your love is like a flame of light to everyone around you.
We never know how deeply we affect people, for good or ill, over the course of our lives. But if we can rise every day with the intention of making ourselves a blessing, of standing tall and walking straight without fear or judgment, then we are walking the way of love.
And true love is the most powerful force in life. It transcends war, destruction and pain like nothing else. It puts the soul at rest in the most gut-wrenching circumstances.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said many profound things, but the big one that sticks in my mind is: Love your enemies. If you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? If you greet only your brothers, so what? Everyone can do that. But only true love warriors can see someone who hurt them, smile and wish him well.
This is not weakness or mamby pamby passivity. This is strength and action.
Be a verb, my friends. Matthew 5