Monday, October 11, 2010

By-Products of Love

*Originally Published in July 2009*

by-prod·uct –noun



1. a secondary or incidental product, as in a process of manufacture.



2. the result of another action, often unforeseen or unintended.



Origin:  1900–05
  
We had a guest speaker at church this week and he got up to talk about bravery in following Jesus.  The first point that he made was "Bravery is a by-product of love." these words were like an arrow piercing straight to my heart.  I wasn't thinking about them in the context of following Jesus, because truthfully I'm just not there right now, I'm still too wrapped up in me, the horrible honest truth is that I can't sometimes see His light because I'm drowning in the darkness that I've brought on myself... the funny thing is in all the decisions I've made this past year I thought I was being brave.
Our speaker proved this point by asking the age old question... "If your house was on fire what would you grab?"  Well of course you'd grab your children and pets, but would you really rush back into the inferno to save your photos or your favorite antiques? No, probably not.  I sat back and pondered what I would grab... Coley of course, the boys (read: dachshunds) and I'm sure I would try to grab my camera and a few precious loons of my Gram's off the mantle as I raced for the door, but would I go back into thick smoke for my computer, for my scrapbooks, for my jewelry? no.  I'm sure I would stand in the street, calm and collected (yes, tragedies are the only time in my life when I can remain calm, cool and collected) and be thankful that my son was alive, that is all that really matters; the person I love the most is safe and alive!
So I sat and pondered this point some more.  I thought about love. I thought about how bravery is just one by-product of love.  I've come to realize in the last year that love has many by-products, sometimes they are painful, including heartache and loss, and sometimes they are so deep that you can't even begin to find the words that describe them... such as the fact that you still want those who have hurt you, to find happiness and joy in life... there are no words for that but it's a by-product of love.  Of course the very best by-product of love is love itself; love can grow and multiply, it can survive devestation, love can soar over the tops of the trees and span huge distances of both time and space.  Love begets forgiveness, forgiveness begets freedom, freedom begets renewal, renewal begets life, life begets love... it goes round and round with so much in between. 

In the end all I really know about love is that it's huge; there is no one way to define or describe it.  Love has different forms and meanings.  Love is joyous and love is painful.  Love really is what makes the world go round because each day you wake up with the notion that today you will see someone you love, do something you love, or be someone who is loved.