I realize that it might be a bit cliche’, because it is hard not to love 1 Corinthians 13, but I have always loved it. I do not just love the 13th Chapter of Corinthians…I love the 12th Chapter too. I remember reading this in high school and wondering what was in store for me…but mostly I remember thinking that we are all different. We all do things differently, need things differently, want things differently, but the core of it all is something higher than you and I. I also think a lot about how the discussion of the body is alluding to unity and love…at least that is how I read it.
After Michael died I felt this dissension with myself because I felt like I was no longer whole. I still feel like there is a huge piece of me missing. It was a fight…with myself, with God, with Michael (no I’m not nuts). In some ways it is still a fight today…there are little things though that cover the hole. Not fill…cover. I have written about them before but I will mention them anyway…Cardinals (if you don’t know why, find that blog). Helping others in my shoes…because that has always been something that I believe God placed me on this planet to do. Finding my voice again…not my opinionated one…my singing voice. The one gift that I feel I have successfully passed on to my children…and that they can use to take me back to some beautiful memories. The one gift that I have that carries me to Frank and to Mike depending on the words passing my lips. Finding me. I lost me. I was lost…everything changed when Michael died. My plans. The plans we had to raise our children together. Where I would retire. My career. That was a big one. It was pretty much gone. So, I had to find myself over again…something I thought I was done doing! Anyway, there is a covering…and it is almost like I grew a second heart around my damaged heart. Like most of the pieces fit back together and someone shellacked it so that it resembled what it used to be…just with a lot more cracks.
I have been thinking and deciding about a lot…and that is where this scripture comes in. When I need answers, when people hurt my heart this is what I go to. This is what I read. It makes sense, it reminds me of how I should be. It reminds me that I cannot control others and what they do or say. It reminds me that even if I want to protect others, I can’t always do that. All I can do is remember that we all are different, beautiful, and purposeful. We all deserve love, even those that harm us and do so without care or concern. What matters is what I know in my heart…not what others think or perceive things to be despite evidence to the contrary. All that matters is that I strive to LOVE. That I have HOPE. That I practice FAITH in the way that is meaningful to my heart. Not someone else’s heart, my heart. I think it is good to be concerned for others and their well being and their heart according to Christ, but I also think that it is important to remember that we do not live the lives of others and we cannot truly know their heart. This is all a catch-22 for me. Does this then mean that we put ourselves in positions to be emotionally harmed again?? I don’t think so. I think that if you do, it is important to spend time determining if that is truly the path that is necessary. I am not there today. I am still in protection mode…because loving ourselves is just as important as loving others. IMHO. That’s where I am at tonight. Still missing Mike…still lonely (and yes missing) my Frankers. I was thinking last night about God and the direction that I need to take my children…and I realized that it is okay and dare I say it…NORMAL…to be emotional. To have feelings that aren’t always sunny and perfect…it is okay to be sad. It is okay to be lonely. It is okay to be happy (took me a LONG time to realize that one). Just because my emotions change…do not mean that my hearts desires change. Anyway…I think that after a significant amount of meditation and critical thinking (not at the same time) I have figured out some things.
Anyway…I am figuring out I need sleep right now…*I give up on editing for the night-a common theme lately*
Just so you don’t have to look it up yourself:
1 Corinthians 12
New International Version (NIV)
Concerning Spiritual Gifts
12 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
Unity and Diversity in the Body
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free —and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[d]? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.
Love Is Indispensable
And yet I will show you the most excellent way.
1 Corinthians 13
New International Version (NIV)
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.