Love never fails
One of the practices I often rehearse is being thankful for what I do NOT have. I do not have uncomfortable sickness or pain, or intolerable anxiety, or fear or loneliness. I do not have to leave my home. I do not have an unreliable car. I do not have abusive *loved ones* (and if you don’t know those asterisks mean “so-called” or denote sarcasm, then I’m here to tell you that’s exactly what they mean). I do not have hunger pains or secrets to keep. For this and so much more, I’m very grateful.
Practicing gratitude is the gateway to understanding love. And I believe that God is grounded in love. At this late stage of my life and after many lessons, surprises, losses and (what I thought at the time were) missed opportunities, I have expanded my God to include all of nature, all of humanity, all of time, all of what is, was and ever shall be.
Last week, a man named Michael Gerson died. You likely know of him; Google his name. Michael and I’d be considered unlikely friends if you go by what’s on paper, or by what people say or by certain social, cultural modern standards. He was conservative. I am liberal. He was an evangelical Christian. I am a Roman Catholic (by my upbringing, not by my practice). He struggled with clinical depression. I have not. But we shared this: he was a compassionate person. I strive to be compassionate -- toward myself and toward others. That is the compelling reason that I have been writing this Monday letter for 10 years. Compassion for myself and for others. It is the reason I am friends with many people *unlike* myself (see those asterisks again?). Here is what Michael Gerson said at a conference in 2019:
“Even when strength fails, there is perseverance. And even when perseverance fails, there is hope. And even when hope fails, there is love. And love never fails.”
I think love is the fundamental life force of human existence. I think Michael and I’d have been friends if we met. Love is available to all of us. I repeat, practicing gratitude is the gateway to understanding love. I wish you love this Thanksgiving in whatever form you find it.
Prior post from an earlier Thanksgiving musing:
We only know the darkness because we have known the light
Peace, gratitude and love to you in the week ahead.