Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Love in Many Colours by Ruth Smith Meyer
Love blooms in many places, times and ages. Saturday we attended our third wedding in four weeks. None of these weddings were what is most apt to come to mind when you first think of such an occasion. You know—a young couple discovering the one with whom they want to spend the rest of their lives, inexperienced but blissfully happy and looking forward to a life of happily-ever-after, the wedding day a culmination of careful planning and nervous anticipation. Love, new young love is exciting for what it is and what it can become.
The couple at our first wedding the beginning of May, had known each other since grade school and had off and on crushes on each other. Sound typical? No not quite, for they both married others and have gone through the agony of break-down, feelings of entrapment and failure and final severance of those first vows. It’s not what any of us would long for, but it happens. Then they found each other again, still reeling from the difficult times they have faced. They are older and perhaps wiser. The happiness on their faces reflected their love. Love has risen from the ashes and bloomed again.
The second wedding was between two forty-somethings who never found the right one before they discovered each other. Although they are inexperienced in marital relationships, their lives so far have been full—they have experienced varied slices of life and service, growth and maturation in many other ways. They’re comfortable in their skin. The light and joy on their faces too, spoke of their happiness in this new love they have discovered in each other. Love, long-awaited has finally burst into bloom.
Saturday was different again. This time it was two seniors who had loving partners for many years and grieved to see their spouses slip away and to leave them widowed. They have struggled to find who they were as single people. After a life time of sharing everything, their meals eaten alone, the places they wanted to or needed to go feeling so different with no one to share, the end of the days coming with no one to talk over what happened and to sound out new ideas they uncovered, no one to really need them. Then they discovered each other. Even though the groom needed a little help in walking the aisle, he was almost giddy with joy and excitement. The bride’s face shone with love and care. Love has bloomed again like fall asters surrounded by autumn leaves fallen to the ground, we could see real magnificence and a deep hue of beauty reserved for those with such a level of maturity and stability.
It’s something God has built into us—the longing to share our lives intimately with someone else. It’s beautiful when the connection is made and grows into that kind of love. We rejoice when two people discover a deep love and commit themselves to each other. But it doesn’t always happen.
There are many women and a few men in my circle of friends who have my admiration. Those are the ones who have dreamt of having that special someone and for love to bloom in their lives but it hasn’t happened (at least yet.) However they have found ways to be happy, to serve and be special friends and encouragers to others in their lives. They are happy and living useful lives, spreading their own brand of happiness. It may not be romantic love, but love blooms there too.
Love in any life is important. There are so many aspects to love and ways to experience love. Perhaps the best way to finish this reflection is part of a rendition of 1 Corinthians 13 read at the most recent wedding:
We know only a portion of the truth,
what we say and know about God (or love)
is always incomplete.
But when the Complete arrives,
our incompletes will be canceled.
We shall know fully,
even as we are fully known,
(and isn’t that part of our longing for love?)
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 arrives,
we have three things to do
to lead us toward that consummation:
Trust steadily in God,
And the best of the three is Love.
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