Love bears all things.
the most beautiful words of the chapter, not because they make me feel good, but because they show me a truth that i need to be forever reminded of. in times of need, in times of anger, in times of rage, these words are glanced over. my heart refusing to understand the pain it will have to go through to carry this command out, the self i will have to give up.
love is not to feel good. or beautiful. or whole. or romantic. love is not pretty country weddings. handwritten vows. love is not rosy flowers, intimate love making, many children, or years of commitment. love is not for me. love is to bear. love is to fight. love is to hold another up no matter the cost. love is to wrap wounds. to take the poison out. to see the bleeding, ragged, oozing flesh and to find beauty. love is to find healing ointment and nurse back to health.
we’re driving in the car and holding hands. ryan makes a comment about how much money we made that week. i withdraw my hand and snap something ugly, ugly words to wound. because that is what i seem to do best.
his next words break me. “you know I am for you….right? I am for you. Any comment I ever make is never aimed to hurt your heart. I am for you, I will fight for your happiness, even in small things. You never seem to believe it. Please believe it.”
love bears all things. he bears all things. he is teaching me how. his heart shows me Jesus’ heart. his heart shows me all i need to know about this little scripture, this Pauline thought, this command that is full of grace. thousands of years ago, another man showed me the way i should love. He saw my rotting flesh and never blinked. He walked toward me, ignoring the stench, the eyesore I was, formed from a badly distorted image of Him, twisted by an evilness that grew from the garden.
i gave off serpent smell. but He came toward me anyway. He lay at my feet and sobbed. He whispered to me, before i was even made pure, and He said “I am for you. I am for you. I am for you. I will bear this.” touching my wounds, He contracted my disease, He let the ooze drip onto His own skin. and with His touch, my skin was white. He bore me. the weight of my wounds. He held me up while i was still sinking down into the serpent’s home.
it is the serpent’s lie that twists Ryan’s words in my ear. it is the serpent’s lie that does not allow me to believe someone would hold me even with my wounds. but I must believe it. everything hinges on this.
Ryan grasps my hand, tears in his eyes, and begs me to hear him. His fingers find my wet lashes and a head lowered in shame. I am for you. I am for you. I am for you. I will bear your weight. I will fight for you. His words soak into me, music that grows because it is truth. and you cannot silence truth that is spoken aloud.
He is for me. my savior first, and He is the one who taught Ryan the way of this grace. the most beautiful knowledge in the world. my wounds will never overtake me. love is to bear wounds. love is to bear sin. because Jesus bore sin. Jesus is teaching me. Ryan is teaching me. and I understand. my marriage is not for soft kisses, midnight snuggles, whispered ‘i love yous,’ though those things are there to show love in other ways. but marriage is first to show Jesus. and Jesus was a wound dresser, a sin bearer, a shame taker, a shield against enemy fire, a heart healer.
marriage is for ryan to bear my wounds and to take me to jesus.
marriage is for me to bear ryan’s wounds and take him to jesus.
my most favorite line to the church of Corinth. love bears all things. i have received a beautiful lifetime to practice what my savior did for me. in grace, i can bear all things, because it was first done for me.