Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Opposite of Love?

For some reason, my sister has been on my mind more than usual these past few days. Ordinarily, I think of her most often on the anniversaries of her birth and passing. Sometimes, I get in a mood and will start looking at old photos, then memories of her flood my heart. But these past three or four days, she has been popping up in my mind. Her smile, her laugh, or the way she would suck her teeth right before she was going to say something funny.

While thinking of my sister, I always remember how loving she was. Along with my mother, she was the comfort of the family. Her children, her nieces and her nephews, her friends' kids - they all experienced the healing power of my sister's hugs. She gave the best hugs.

Something dawned on me while my sister was on my mind this week. It was about the meaning of family love and friendship love. I realized that there is no power in the word 'love' - people have tossed that word around so much that it's beginning to lose impact. The power of the word is in the person offering it up. Scripture tells us that "Death and life are in the power of the tongue". I knew that passage but I have only just now been thinking deeply about it.

When my sister gave you love, she did it with compassion and a pure heart. She patiently listened to your problems or waited out your anger or just soothed you through your fears. And she never seemed to want anything in return. She did get love reciprocated but that was never her goal. What I realized too late in her life was that sometimes we were all too busy depending on her to let her lean on us. I hope she did know how much we all loved her back. She taught us all so much about standing strong. She taught us all so much about everything. Because of her, I have finally realized something important about life and love. So she is still teaching me! It's as though I got to have a little Bible study with her again.

What I have come to fully understand is that love means nothing without truth and sacrifice. The opposite of love is pride. Love - true and real love - is giving, honest, open and willing. Love shines outward and pride radiates inward.