Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Choice

My heart is a bit heavy today. Heavy with a mixture of joy and sorrow sort of swirling together the way I stir my chocolate syrup into my ice cream. It's a good thing. Sorrow can be good, you know. So healing and cleansing.

A young couple who are so very dear to me (and once to tdub) are getting married today. I was supposed to help with many of the wedding preparations this week but a stomach flu has had me down and out of school for the past three days. It may have been God's way, for as the time draws closer to the wedding I feel my heart rising. It is at my throat now and I imagine it will be raining from my eyes as I watch what is sure to be one of the most beautiful ceremonies ever conducted in our church building this evening.

But it won't be the creative and unique ways in which I'm certain the church will be decorated; it won't be the bride's dress, although I can't WAIT to see it; the wedding cake assembled from petit fours in a way we've never seen or imagined; or even the giant white Chinese lanterns that will transform a gymnasium into a ballroom fit enough for Cinderella: these things will serve their purpose and provide the setting for the magic and the memory that will sweeten over time and across distance as the happy twosome begin their new life together in California.

It's the choice. The choice they are making to love one another. Come what may. They will wake up every day, and again, choose to love. And, when it's most difficult, when they don't feel like it, don't want to, and are at a point where it seems like it just doesn't matter and there's really no reason to care; they will choose, again, to love. It's not a human sort of thing to do. To love this way. Many do it, and continue to do it, who've never cracked a Bible or professed a belief in either God or Christ. And yet, this is the most Christ-like thing of all. To keep loving. To give until there is nothing left, and then give some more.

I have no idea how folks who don't profess Christ do it. I do know, that for the Christian, this sort of love comes from knowing that you are valuable to God. And because you are valuable to him, and lovely and loveable to him, it is possible to continue to choose to love others, and particularly your mate. Come what may.

Love is a choice.

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Debbie said...

Love is a choice.

Simple truth beautifully said. Thanks for sharing, Pam


Glad to hear you're feeling better

Ally said...

This was so beautiful, Pam. Thank you.

I hope you're feeling better. Honestly, I don't know how teachers stay healthy at all this time of year! Praying strength and healing for you...

MR said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. From reading your blog it is clear that you are turning to God in your time of need. You are demonstrating by your life how valuable HE is!

Robert said...

Hey Pam!

As usual, you have some really interesting thoughts. Although he does not come out and expressly say it, Jesus seems to be telling people that they should CULTIVATE love. While on one hand love can seem so natural, it is often hard to bring forth when it is tested. I admire those who can call up the power of love when so many of us would just reach for the shotgun.

BTW -- Glad to see that another "Robert" is commenting! The "Robert" group, by and large, is a pretty cool group. Perhaps I should post here as "Number One" to avoid any confusion. ;-D

grace said...

Debbie, Ally, MR: Thank you SO much for the "kudos". I'll make it known and not keep it secret that I'm a comment " " ....uh....well...
let's just say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE comments! haha!! (my friend emery MAY come along and provide the appropriate word but i'll leave that to him ;)

Robert #1 (and my only) :) : What say you????? PLEASE email me. I want to hear your further thoughts. I absolutely LOVE it that you find my thoughts on love to be "interesting". ;) Cultivate? Please, I'd love nothing more than to explore that point with you...not because I have the answer, I have few...but because I want to know what you are seeing/thinking based on the scripture. for real. email me.

love and grace,

p.s. the "robert" group is cooler in more ways than you know....but you might be able to find that out if you'd ever email me! ;)

Debbie said...

I like this "love" thing....there are so many different kinds of love. The love we feel when we're young and "in love"; the love we feel after labouring to give birth and hold that baby for the first time...those are natural; at least they are to me. But the love that we choose when we're hurting because we've been betrayed...that is the love we have to choose. That is the "tested" love that we are called to cultivate (really like that word there #1). That is the unconditional love of Christ.

Greg said...

I have been reflecting on the very essence of choice in love for the last couple weeks. I find it so interesting that you had a blog about it. What a powerful notion. Something about choice cuts to the core of us and makes and impact. A choice against is powerful too.

kurt_t said...

Such a beautiful reflection, Pam.

It's funny, I've been thinking a lot recently about when I first met Tony, and I hadn't had much relationsip experience at all, and I can remember those first weeks together thinking "Hey, I really have this relationship thing down. I'm just kind of a natural at it."

What I didn't know then was that I was experiencing the easy part of the relationship. The passionate part where your life is like one of those montages from a Barbara Streisand movie, where you're going around in a rowboat and window shopping and sharing an ice cream cone and all that.

That's the easy part, right? That's like the X in the middle of your Bingo card. You just get that for free.

But then comes the part where you have to choose, just like you say. You have to keep choosing love. You go through all kinds of heartache and pain and uncertainty and disappointment, and you keep choosing to love one another through it all. That's the hard part of the relationship, I think, but also the most rewarding part because it brings us closer to one another and closer to God.

Norm! said...

To be honest (which I think you know I try to be), my initial reaction to your post was a little negative, because your posting made love sound like a job or a chore. Certainly that's not the fairy tale/Hollywood version of love. Who wants to be in a relationship in which we have to choose to be in love with someone each day.

However, when I stopped to really hear what you were saying, I realized how true your thoughts are. I'm less than two years into my first (and hopefully only) significant relationship, I realize that I'm making real choices each day and moment. Fortunately, we haven't really faced any serious difficulties (I think we're still in the "easy part" that Kurt described). While we both have learned to make changes in our lives for each other, I have assumed that all of these choices would be easy. However, you're right. Most likely there will be some challenge to face and I/we will have to make some difficult choice. I hope and pray that I will find the way to choose to love sacrificially.

Thanks for giving something to ponder.

grace said...

You guys are all so great. This is one of the BEST perks, for me, about blogging. Just pondering stuff together. Thinking it over, turning it around in your head and coming up with various perspectives.
Thanks for that!!!

love and grace,

~Deb said...

They say it's easy to dislike someone or disregard them. It's very hard to like or love someone who does not like or love you in return. For instance, when a stranger cuts you off in traffic - we choose to be angry and hate that person. (Speaking in general.) We immediately become enemies when we're out on the road for some strange reason.

It's a choice "by action itself" to love someone. Love is an action - by showing and proving your love to them...and to God. I also believe that love can be an involuntary emotion. "Falling in love". But that lasts only for a short time, unless we "choose" to work at it and show actions of love.

Bleck. Long-winded comment, but I just loved what you had to say about this.

Thanks for making me think today! :)

God bless!

Joe said...

Wow, what a great post. You are so right - choosing to love (love God and love your neighbour as yourself) is probably the only thing that matters in this world. I only really understood Christianity when I made this choice for the first time and received an instant "reward" of feeling more alive/real than any previous moment in my life.