But the greatest of these is love!

Psychologists say that love is our strongest emotion. While other emotions such as happiness, fear, shame, sadness, and anger are powerful, love is more profound, and more intense, affecting how we see and respond to our beautiful yet broken world.  Last week I experienced the life-giving power of love.  My niece called to check up on me after getting discharged from the hospital.  I have had a very challenging year with my health; six acute pancreatic attacks in twelve months, prostate surgery, and now bladder stones.  Thankfully I am scheduled to go back to Mayo to see if we can figure out what is happening with my pancreas.  As Rachael listened to me update her on my health she said, “Uncle Warren, we need to pray for you!”  And that is what she did.  She gathered friends from Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida; family members from Wisconsin, Florida, Colorado, California, and New York, and my pastor and friend from Hope City Church to pray for Brenda and me.  I was overwhelmed with emotion.  If I am being honest, I was a little embarrassed that it was all about me.  Most of all, I felt loved.  I wasn’t healed.  I still have some medical challenges.  But, I knew I was loved.  It empowered me to keep pressing on.  It reminded me we were not alone.  It caused me to give thanks to God for giving me the incredible gift of knowing there are those who love me.  Thank you, Rachel.

I wonder who you might remind today that they are loved.  It can be as simple as a quick email saying, “I was just thinking of you and wanted to let you know, I love you!”  The next time your child, spouse, friend, or parents walk by you, stop them hug them, and whisper in their ear, “I hope you know I love you.”  Sometimes words are not necessary.  Love takes many and various forms such as the dishes being washed or the toys being picked up as your spouse puts the kids to bed.

One of my favorite passages in the New Testament is found in 1 Corinthians 13, known as the love chapter.  I’m sure you have heard it read a million times at a wedding ceremony.  It beautifully describes what real love looks like.  The passage ends with verse 13,

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.