Love as a process
I like results. I like to know how many kids raised their hands to accept Jesus. I like to empty my sink of dirty dishes. I like to see a pile of dirt when I sweep the floor. I like to see people run to the front of the room, tears streaming down, after I preach. I know that’s decidedly uncool to admit to nowadays but it’s the truth. I like the cold hard facts of how many showed up. But I also like that palpable high of community after a missions trip. The beauty of knowing the spirit moved during a worship set. I’ve always hated the “we planted the seed” line. I like my feedback to be quick and affirming. Even criticism doesn’t bother me, as long as it’s direct and to the point, as long as it’s a response to what I just did.
And so here I am, walking in circles in my tiny driveway, just wide enough for one car to fit, hunched over my one year old son. He’s got both feet on the scooter, both hands gripping the handle bars. I’m slightly dizzy from pushing him around. The handle bar bent sharply, so the scooter can finish its circle before hitting the unmowed grass. I can’t stop thinking about the pile of dishes in the sink or the phone calls that should be made. The checks along my to do list that will make me see results. That will make me know I’ve done something today.
I know, a stay at home mom was a bad choice of career to see quick results. I’ve heard tell, it takes eighteen years at the soonest, to find out if anything good you did stuck.
His laugh warms my heart, his chubby hands melt me but still . . . “this is accomplishing nothing” a small voice says inside me. This is not a memory he’ll treasure forever, he’s only one. It’s not really helping him build the skills he needs to learn how to walk or talk. I’m literally going in circles. And then it hits me. This, this is love. The thankless, slightly dizzying walking in circles, the actions which may not ever be remembered, the giving up your time and desires to the demands of someone who certainly doesn’t recognize the sacrifice you’re making.
I always want my love to show results, if not in gratitude, then in clear actions. I like my service to recognized by someone. And that’s not all bad. But for today, maybe for one brief second I had sympathy with the Divine Nature. One who gives with delight, even when results are so slow in coming. One who takes joy in another’s joy. One who serves with no thought of response.