"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." ~Ambrose Redmoon

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

True Love

The year I lived on campus at Whittier College involved many memorable events. What stands out most though isn’t being a songleader and all the football games where we performed or attending Playboy’s #2 ranked all-time college bash, or even the night a fire destroyed Founder's Hall. Perhaps the thing that sticks in my mind most was the tragic quest of a young woman trying to find the right guy. She started with one boy, but ended up having sex with one after another. Many in the freshman class used her and turned her into a laughingstock.

Too often single people think “if only I can find the right guy or the right girl, my life will be complete. I used to think that way. In college I discovered a poem that expressed my desires for that special someone. 

The Love Poem by Roy Croft
I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.

I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.

One of my heroes, Elisabeth Elliot found that deep committed love with her first husband. But only 2 years and 3 months after they married, Jim was murdered by the very people he was trying to help. Elisabeth was only 29 years old with a new baby. Words she penned before being married helped her cope during that devastating time.

“Lord, I do once more acknowledge, with all my heart, that I am Thine. No claim have I upon this life, past, present, or future. I am all, all Thine own. Thou hast said, 'Fear not; for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by name; thou art mine. . . I will be with thee. . . I am the Lord thy God. . .  I have loved thee. . . I am with thee' (Isaiah 43:1-5). Therefore, O dear Lord and Master, Redeemer, Lover, Friend, Beloved, do Thou work out Thine entire will in my life henceforth at any cost, in the time that is left to me on this earth.”

Elisabeth’s husband was gone, yet she knew that the Lord was using the lumber of her life to build not a tavern, but a temple. And in that process, she found peace.

“I do not say that I did not grieve. I did—most sorely. But peace of the sort the world cannot give comes, not by the removal of suffering, but in another way—through acceptance. I was learning that the same Lord, . . .the Lord who had given me singleness and marriage as gifts of His love, had now given me this one. Would I receive it from His hand? Would I thank Him for it?

 How can we accept the unthinkable, the loss that breaks our heart? More on that next time.

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