Butterflies by Matthijs Maris 1874

Thursday, October 25, 2012


"You can give without loving
But you cannot love without giving."

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Don't Plant Anything

"Every leaf that grows will tell you... what you sow will bear fruit.  So if you have any sense, my friend, don't plant anything but Love." -Rumi

Monday, September 24, 2012

What is Love? A Meditation

Love has many faces.  Somehow we know, at its core, it is singular, but it is displayed as many fractured, contradictory personalities.  Love is about the benefit of the other, but also desire for the self.  Love is adoration, but also a mirror displaying the harsh reality.  Love is granting freedom and stirring deep violation.  Love is in the touch, the taste, the sight, the sigh, but love is also the longing, the mourning, the restlessness, the isolation.   Wrap all this together and we have still only stirred the bare surface of the depths of love.  Love is life, and is as complex as life.

Love in the flesh is a glorious thing.  Love is longing, but not knowing for what.  It is the glance that opens one’s eyes, widens the pupils and the object of love is then written in one’s soul.  We are created for this love, for this awakening and rebirth of our very selves, for this unification with the other so the one who we used to be is but a memory, a wisp of the past.  Once we have become a new creation, we build.  We create foundations, give birth, form partnerships, instill values, restore the ancient that has never been seen on earth before.  From love are traditions formed, legacies initiated, knowledge discovered and cities built. 

Creation is not love’s only legacy, however.  All that is built can also be forsaken, rejected, destroyed.  Love is a god that requires sacrifice.  Upon the altar, at one time or another, we must place our marriage, our work, our children, our livelihood, our passions, our hopes, our very souls and the souls of those whom we most deeply care for.  Love is filled with bitter tears, deep resentment and furious anger.  It is the passion that demands us and tears lives into shreds.  Love gives and love shreds, blessed be the name of love.

Yet there is another love.  A love that is not strictly human love, for human love must protect itself and its creation within a bubble of security of its own making.  There is a spiritual love, which calls to the humans, which can be glimpsed, and then it shyly withdraws.   It is the love that always gives, always forgives, always provides, always sustains, always restores, always gives life.  Love that embraces the rejected, heals the broken, rebuilds the destroyed and welcomes the outcast.  Paradoxically, this love requires nothing from the other, yet calls all to sacrifice all for the other.   And the greatest desire of this love is a people that surrenders all desires for the sake of the need.   This love is the ultimate gift without sacrifice and the ultimate sacrifice that demands all.

And this is the love that will change the world.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tips for Living in Love

  • Try to get all your personal needs met.  Allow yourself to be content with the rest of your life. This is where the energy to love comes from.
  • Let people be who they are.  Accept that you can't change them, only encourage them.
  • Never see another person as your enemy.  The ones who hurt you just don't understand how much you need each other.  Try to show them.
  • Never demand respect.  Earn it by showing respect for others.
  • Keep your expectations for others low but your hopes high.
  • Never command.  Just request or suggest.
  • Be patient.  Once you have waited long enough, wait just a little more.
  • Serve.  Meet some needs of those most in need, and then work your way up.  (Love doesn't trickle down, it trickles up.  If the most needy in a community gets their needs met, the entire community becomes more healthy.)
  • Live and work in a community that loves and serves people outside of their own group

What tips do you have for living in love?  Write them in comments.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

What If?

A poem by Shirley Diprofio

I used to think these thoughts were normal
as I felt the pressure of the world, as it swirled
in my conflicted heart and mind of turmoil.
I knew somewhere deep down it must be true
that I had a lot to live for. Even if I wasn't sure -
suicide was an action I knew I couldn't undo.

One day I heard these sentiments reflected in a song
And I realized a decade has gone by since these thoughts haunted my mind
With so much to live for, they simply didn't belong.
I began to wonder, were they really common, as I once had thought.
Does everyone really think like this, about stepping into the abyss?
Or were those suicidal feelings I had fought?
So I've pondered these thoughts I'd kept hidden.
If my mind had stalled, could I have let myself fall?
Could these dark thoughts return unbidden?

Could they?

I didn't know at the time what my heart was fighting
That my soul had been hijacked, my mind attacked,
Not knowing how my world needed righting
I didn't know that there was love and happiness to treasure
If I left behind my narrow life of brainwashed strife
And embraced a wonder beyond all measure
Now I smile at my son in the rear-view mirror - elation
And I show my friends the passenger bridge of my hometowns ridge
And gaze over the edge of the cliff at God's imagination.

And there are no ifs.
No ifs.

Monday, July 2, 2012

I Love Diet Cola

What does it mean when we say and feel that we love a certain kind of food, like coffee or chocolate?

What do we mean when we say we "love" it?

Certainly we are not talking about a mutual feeling, or a sense of benefiting the object of our love.

Such a love is a desire, and the consummation of this love is to consume and ingest.

If we truly love that which we are addicted to, what does that mean when we say "I love you" to another person?

Tea and Sympathy

Just having a coffee with someone is communicating a lot.  You are saying:

You are important enough for me to talk to
You are important enough for me to put aside the internet
I will shut off the whole world to spend this hour with you

Take a friend you haven't spent much time with out for a coffee

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

St Johns Ministry

Tim and Sam Childress have spearheaded Anawim’s ministry into a new area—St. John’s in North Portland.
Currently, in the St. John’s area, there is no ministry specifically for the homeless in that area of Portland, although St. Johns has been one of the poorest areas of Portland for a long time.
This group of Anawim folks is starting small in St. Johns. Providing sandwiches, socks,water and toiletry items every Sunday afternoon—what a great way to celebrate the Lord’s Day!
If you’d like to provide for this new arm of Anawim, we could use donations of toiletries, socks, lunch meat, cheese, corn chips, sandwich bags and bottled water. 
For more information about how to donate to this ministry click here: http://anawimcc.org/donate/

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Love Never Fails

Your family will fail you.
Your friends will fail you.
Your mind will fail you.
Your strength will fail you.
Your hopes will fail you.
Your determination will fail you.
Anything based on human frailty will fail.

But divine love will never fail.
It is the one abiding bedrock we can rest on:
God is love.
God never fails.

Our strength is only as faithful as our dependence on God's love.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Will You Be a Megaphone?

Love is quieter than our prejudices

Love is quieter than our ambitions

Love is quieter than our comforts

Love is quieter than our cultural assumptions

Frankly, Love desperately needs a megaphone.