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LOVE IS THE GREATEST.
Even greater than faith, or hope, or any other thing.
We celebrate the love of Valentine’s Day and appropriately so. That loving celebration is fun, romantic, even emotional. It is a day set aside once to live love and to express our love to all, but especially so to someone special.
Love is a word difficult of definition. In fact, it has many component parts. Love is complex, defining itself, manifesting itself in so many different ways. But love is a force without which we can not live, or live right. It is the stuff of life, and without it, life is mere existence, sterile and harsh. Love is the force, the resource of God, an energy which produces the highest and best relationships with OTHERS, and, as we love ourselves, allows us to live life at its highest levels.
TO LOVE AND TO BE LOVED IS THE GREATEST HAPPINESS OF EXISTENCE. So said Sydnie Smith.
Love out and in is a daily process which produces the greatest happiness. It does indeed. Nothing feels better than to give love, share love, and experience love. NOTHING.
If you had no one to love, you would never be hurt. But, you would never grow. You would never venture outside your own self-centered needs and perceptions. Your heart would never be cracked open so that God could enter it. To love and love unconditionally is to take risks, and especially the risk of rejection. But nothing energizes and cleanses like love.
Profound words about love by a poet unknown. To love another, large or small, is the only real way that one can grow as a human being. The risk of loving produces the risk of hurt but even hurt toughens and matures love. The risk of loving another allows one to VENTURE OUTSIDE and to experience. Doing that allows your very own heart to be CRACKED OPEN so that love in its purest sense could enter, that is God Himself. Loving is always risky, and especially the risk of rejection. Rejection hurts but it is part of the loving process. The risk of love is worth it because nothing energizes like love, and nothing cleanses like love, NOTHING.
Charles Dickens said that a loving heart is the truest wisdom. Knowing life at its best, the most real and the truest wisdom can only be produced by a loving heart, a heart cracked open and wanting more love.
Robert Schuller said that in the presence of love, miracles happen. Love itself is a
miracle and the loving miracle produces other miracles. Miracles can and should
happen more often and they can and will happen when:
LOVE IS AT WORK
True love allows us insight, real insight into the character and persona of another:
“BECAUSE I LOVE YOU, I CATCH GLIMPSES OF THE YOU GOD CREATED, THE
TRUE YOU. I SEE YOUR IMPERFECTIONS AND FAILURES, BUT I CHOOSE TO SEE
PAST THEM TO THE REAL YOU. LOVE CREATES A PLACE WHERE YOU ARE FREE
TO BECOME YOUR COMPLETE SELF.”
What a marvelous statement. Perhaps we can only really know another not completely
but only with glimpses and those glimpses made possible only because of love.
We are all riddled with imperfections and failures, are we not? We can see past things
in our desire to find the real person, the real you. Love breaks down those barriers
and produces eyes that truly see.
Benjamin Disraeli the great English Prime Minister said that:
“WE ARE ALL BORN TO LOVE. IT IS THE PRINCIPLE OF ITS EXISTENCE AND ITS
ONLY END.”
Born to love, genetic, all that we really are, the very highest principle itself of existence.
And, its only end, like the highest and greatest spiritual commandment that we should
love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbor
as ourselves. In fact, we are known as Christians, followers of the Christ:
IF YOU HAVE LOVE ONE FOR ANOTHER
Love said another is tough, practical, and active. Love is washing the kitchen floor
over and over again. Love is scrubbing the toilet and doing the laundry. Love is taking
out the garbage and cleaning the refrigerator. Love is smiling when you are tired,
finding reasons to laugh even when you are angry, volunteering for a dirty job, working
hard, and making the world a better place.
Powerful and profound. Indeed, love is practical. Love is very much in the scrubbing
of the toilet. Love is there from the one who takes out the garbage. Love indeed
delights in the dirty jobs for when you do for the least of these, you do it unto HIM.
And yet more insight into the God of all love:
GOD SAYS TO US, IN LOVE, I HOLD YOU IN MY MIND. I REMEMBER YOU. I HOLD
ALL OF THE PIECES OF YOU. THE PAST WOUNDS AND THE PRESENT. AND IN
LOVE, I KNIT THEM TOGETHER INTO THE PERSON I LOVE, THE PERSON I
CREATED TO GIVE ME JOY:
YOU.
Held are we in the mind of God, remembering us even as we remember Him, all of our
various pieces, wounds, wrongs, and problems no matter. God knits them together
and all become the mosaic, the person God loves, the individual and special you.
Love frees us of the weight and pain of life! True love always lightens life’s heaviest
burdens. True love is a force far more powerful than the weapons of any enemy.
Life is a flower of which love is the honey, so said Victor Hugo. Love is knit into the
very cells of our bodies. It is written into our DNA. It is encoded in the chemicals that
make plants green. It is that which makes the sky blue, the substance of the song of
the birds in summer, the whisper of the wind in the trees, the silence of the snow as it
falls. Love is the voice of God calling to us endlessly and passionately through all HIS
marvelous creation.
There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear. The more one loves, the less there
is of which to be afraid. Love secures and drives our insecurity. Love at work is the
most powerful force and energy of all.
Take away love, said Robert Browning, and our earth is a tomb. Without love, life is
like dead, lifeless, even meaningless. And, if you wish to be loved, LOVE. Any time
that is not spent on love is time wasted.
True love is a durable fire in the mind ever-burning, never sick, never old, never dead,
from itself never turning, so said Sir Walter Raleigh. The durable fire of love burns
unquenchable, always alive, always energizing.
The great artist Vincent Van Gogh said:
“THE HEART THAT LOVES IS ALWAYS YOUNG. LOVE IS A MARVELOUS
BEAUTIFIER. LOVE IS ART AT WORK. I ALWAYS THINK THAT THE BEST WAY TO
KNOW GOD IS TO LOVE MANY THINGS.”
Indeed, all of art is love at work and there really can be no great art without love. It
beautifies and brings out the best in everything.
Here, the words of Thomas Merton:
“THE BEGINNING OF LOVE IS TO LET THOSE WHO LOVE BE PERFECTLY
THEMSELVES, AND NOT TO TWIST THEM TO FIT OUR OWN IMAGE. OTHERWISE,
WE LOVE ONLY THE REFLECTION OF OURSELVES WE FIND IN THEM.”
The more we are perfectly ourselves, living to our highest and best, the more and
better of us there is.
Love cures people, the ones who give it and the ones who receive it. Love conquers all
things, so said the ancient poet, Virgil.
Love allows us to believe so fully and firmly in God even when He is silent!
The great thinker-theologian Soren Kierkegaard profoundly stated that when one has
once fully entered the realm of love, the world, no matter how imperfect becomes rich
and beautiful. It consists solely of opportunities for love.
It is love, said Thomas Mann, not reason that is stronger than death. And that love,
stronger than and which conquers death is the love of the Christ on the cross and the
resurrection which followed.
To love someone is to see a miracle invisible to others, said Francois Mauriac. Life is
replete with invisible miracles which can only be revealed by love at work.
If you love somebody, tell them, so said Rod McKuen. The telling unleashes the energy
and the power of love.
The heart has its reasons which reason alone can not understand, so said the thinker
Blaise Pascal. Love is a dimension in life different from and beyond reason itself. The
more the mind the less the heart and consequently the less love. Reason no matter
how wise can never understand love.
The great theologian Paul Tillich said that the first beauty of love is to listen. One who
loves wants to listen more than talk, listen to every word, every expression of thought
and emotion which comes from the one loved. Listening, really listening in a caring
way, may very well be the highest attribute of true love.
For those who love, time is eternity. Love is God’s finger on man’s shoulder. Love is
like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a
winged heart and to give thanks for another day of loving. Love is a symbol of eternity.
It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an
end.
Sir Alfred Lord Tennyson said:
“TIS BETTER TO HAVE LOVED AND LOST THAN NEVER TO HAVE LOVED AT ALL.”
Love indeed is risky, the risk of rejection but a life lived without true love is a life never
really lived at all.
I love you, says Anna Corbin, as you are, not as you wish to be. I love you for the real
person you are, not the imaginary perhaps I fantasize you could be. I love the real,
amazing, utterly unique YOU.
Love in the ultimate, unconditional, love so REAL.
If you love until it hurts, really hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love said
the wonderfully loving Mother Teresa. True love at work drives away the hurt.
Looking back, said one, I have this to regret. That too often when I loved, I did not say
so. Love uncommunicated is love aborted. It is there but never shared. More time is
spent judging people which leaves less time to love them.
Zelda Fitzgerald said that nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much love
the heart can hold. There is no limit to love, none whatsoever. Love is there, always
and love takes up when knowledge leaves off. In fact, love is the supreme knowledge,
superior to all else.
Love’s greatest gift is its ability to make everything it touches sacred. Love at work
produces the holiest of the holies. The great English statesman William E. Gladstone
said the following:
“WE LOOK FORWARD TO THE TIME WHEN THE POWER OF LOVE WILL REPLACE
THE LOVE OF POWER. THEN WILL OUR WORLD KNOW THE BLESSINGS OF
PEACE. POWER KILLS LOVE AND WITHOUT LOVE, THERE IS NO PEACE. THERE IS
NOTHING MORE POWERFUL BEFORE AND EVER AGAIN THAN LOVE.”
The theologian Reinhold Niebuhr said the following:
“WE ARE SAVED BY THE FINAL FORM OF LOVE, WHICH IS FORGIVENESS.
FORGIVING AND FORGETTING ARE THE HIGHEST ACTS OF LOVE RESULTING IN
OUR SALVATION. THERE WAS ONE, YEARS AGO, DRIVEN TO THE CROSS BY THE
LOVE OF MANKIND PROVIDING IN HIS DEATH THE LIFE AND THE LOVE WE LEAD.
THE CROSS WAS THE FINAL AND FORGIVING FORM OF LOVE.”
The crucifixion of the Christ on the cross was indeed the ultimate act of love.
The great writer C.S. Lewis said the following:
“TO LOVE AT ALL IS TO BE VULNERABLE. LOVE ANYTHING AND YOUR HEART
WILL CERTAINLY BE WRUNG AND POSSIBLY BROKEN. LOVE BREAKS DOWN ALL
BARRIERS, OPENS WIDE THE HEART, EXPOSES TRUE INNOCENCE AND RISKS THE
WRINGING AND THE BREAKING OF THIS MORE PRIZED POSSESSION. REAL LOVE
DEMANDS THIS, CONSTANTLY.”
Sir Arthur Pinero said that “those who love deeply never grow old. They may die of old
age, but they die young at heart.”
That deep love here and now is but a prelude to the perfect love there. In fact, they are
one love contiguous and continuous. Love is both earthly and eternal. Love never
dies. For there is only one real happiness in life and that is to love and to be loved.
The great writer Ralph Waldo Emerson said:
“NEVER SELF-POSSESSED OR PRUDENT, LOVE IS ALL ABANDONMENT.”
True love is pure risk, always. Love at work risks hurt to the self and rejection by
another. But the risk at work is what makes the word of love so special.
Vulnerability, openness, risk but so great reward.
Hear then the marvelous words of the great poet William Wordsworth:
“A PERSON CAN BE SO CHANGED BY LOVE AS TO BE UNRECOGNIZABLE AS THE
SAME PERSON. LOVE TRANSFORMS, REGENERATES. LOVE PRODUCES CHANGE,
EVERYWHERE AND IN EVERYONE. LOVE BETTERS WHAT IS BEST!”
The great philosopher Plato said that love is the best friend of human kind, the helper
and the healer of all ills that stand in the way of human happiness. In fact, love and
compassion are necessities, not luxuries and without them, humanity can not survive.
And for some real definition of the word love, hear the words of Saint Augustine:
“WHAT DOES LOVE LOOK LIKE? WHY, IT HAS HANDS TO HELP OTHERS. IT HAS
FEET TO HASTEN TO THE POOR AND NEEDY. IT HAS EYES TO SEE MISERY AND
WANT. IT HAS EARS TO HEAR THE SIGHS AND SORROWS OF HUMANKIND. THAT
IS WHAT LOVE LOOKS LIKE!”
Amen and amen. Hands and feet at work, eyes and ears to see and hear human need.
Love at work is what love really is.
Love comes supreme and most innocently from a child. A child’s love is pure,
uncomplicated, unconditional, fully trusting. Such innocence opens deep the world of
feeling and emotion and it is a return to that childlike love and that ability to love
which alone can make complete the adult version of that child. May we all be wise
enough to return to the innocent love of a little child.
And so my friends, my fellow Americans, we the Crawford Broadcasting Company wish
you all of the love possible on Valentine’s Day and during Valentine’s week. May love
in all its forms permeate your life and may you know the supreme love of the One who
laid down His life for you. Live love every day and know the real and true meaning of
life.
And finally, the profound words of poet Emily Dickenson:
“IF I CAN STOP ONE HEART FROM BREAKING
I SHALL NOT LIVE IN VAIN
IF I CAN EASE ONE LIFE THE ACHING
OR COOL ONE PAIN
OR HELP ONE FAINTING ROBIN
IN TO HIS NEST AGAIN
I SHALL NOT LIVE IN VAIN!”
Love is the greatest!

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