The over-spoken, under-defined, under-employed virtue.

It is manipulated to speak of infatuation, of lust, of satisfaction, of preference.

It is limited so that fulfilling its requirements is out of anyone’s control. A matter of machinated actions.

An impossible task.

A word that can be used for my mother-in-law and my spouse, my best friend and my cat. A word that describes Chinese food, green, soft leather, gardenias, and Beethoven.

Grace. Mercy. Compassion. Longsuffering. Charity.

The beginning of hope, because God chose to define himself this way. The end of hope and the beginning of sight, with a marriage feast in celebration.

It lives. It grows. It dies. It can be given, but not taken. It is won, lost, accepted, rejected. It is both elastic and fragile, quiet and jubilant.

All of it, pagan and Christian, is of God.

For if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

He is the source of all that is good. In him, an impossible task becomes a way of life. Without him, I could not love gardenias or my best friend. His love created and redeemed, sustains and teaches.

For God is love.


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