10 Ways to Love

10 Ways to Love

Today, I need this. I needed it yesterday, and I know I’ll need it tomorrow. I posted it on my Tumblr, but I need to devote more than just one thought on it today.

As we get older, relationships get more complicated (family, friend, romantic, etc.) and you really have to decide who you want to dedicate time and energy to–who reciprocates and who adds positive energy to your life, recharging you for this life that’s full of ups and downs. But once you do, it still ain’t an easy journey because we’re all human. And no matter what, you need to be able to discern how to be loving in all steps of your walk. It’s the greatest commandment, remember? From the stranger you pass on the street that may need a smile to the long lost friend you haven’t spoken to in a year that may need a listening ear out of the blue. From the family member that gets on that one nerve to the boyfriend/partner/boothang (whatever you wanna call him or her) that doesn’t always speak or hear your primary love language. Love is still the goal.

So here’s the post, with the verses that go along. Happy Tuesday.

1. Listen without interrupting. (Proverbs 18)

To answer before listening— that is folly and shame. The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out. – Proverbs 18:13-15

2. Speak without accusing. (James 1:19)

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

3. Give without sparing. (Proverbs 21:26)

All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.

4. Pray without ceasing. (Colossians 1:9)

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.

5. Answer without arguing. (Proverbs 17:1)

Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.

6. Share without pretending. (Ephesians 4:15)

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

7. Enjoy without complaint. (Philippians 2:14)

Do everything without grumbling or arguing.

8. Trust without wavering. (1 Corinthians 13:7)

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

9. Forgive without punishing. (Colossians 3:13)

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

10. Promise without forgetting. (Proverbs 13:12)

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

The Love Chapter

Lunchtime Lessons

Lunchtime Lessons

Today, at lunch, I needed a stamp and a greeting card, so I decided to spend most of my hour walking through midtown (the post office is a bit of a trek, but I need the exercise so why not?). On the way to the post office, I passed a guy who yelled out, “Hey! What are you reading?” Because he caught me off guard, I actually had to look at my book before I replied “Hurricane.” The guy didn’t look homeless necessarily, maybe sick, maybe a little lost in life, so I wasn’t sure if he was going to ask me for money so I had “no cash” idly waiting on the tip of my tongue (which was true, but it definitely has become a bit of a stock phrase over my years of working downtown and midtown, although I try to make it a complete sentence “I don’t have any cash, sorry”, because I don’t like being rude to strangers*). But he didn’t. The light changed and he crossed the street.

Fast forward, I ran all my little errands and was headed in the direction of my office to get some grub, and I passed him again sitting on the steps of a little apartment building. I kept walking, but I was thinking, wow, how interesting to pass someone twice within an hour. He had the same idea, and he said to me, “Hey! I’ve seen you twice today. My name is Randall.” I slowed down, still a little worried, but I had no real reason not to. I spoke to him, and he said “Will you pray for me? There’s some reason I’ve seen you twice today. I’d really like you to pray for me.” So I asked him if he had any specific prayer requests, and he thought about it. Then he told me “my strongholds and my decisions.” By now, of course the sap that I am was really moved, so I said “I will definitely pray for you, Randall. Take care.” He smiled then went into what seemed like deep thought.

I spent the rest of my walk thinking about and praying for Randall, and I hope he’s okay. It just goes to show that you never know who you will encounter, and you never know if all someone needs is for you to stop walking and just engage them for a couple of minutes. Happy Friday, folks.

(And in case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been–I’ve been on tumblr and twitter pretty regularly, but I’m definitely gearing up to start  back carving out time to give you more than one thought at a time, so please stay tuned!)

*Disclaimer: I will totally be rude to mean people and people who are rude to me, whether I know them or not. Work in progress here.