Love and Luggage
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. — 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NLT
Luggage means travel. New or familiar places, exciting sights, historic landmarks, welcome retreats, personal discoveries and romantic destinations are invoked when the suitcase comes out. Something explicit happens when the suitcase springs open: a destination is in front of you.
This future-tense imagery is apt for a bride and groom at the altar. I had promised Kailey and Dakota, the truly wonderful couple I met and married in short yet understandable time, that their message on their wedding night would be what they both wanted, which is something memorable. It is also something the two can unpack (pun intended) for years to come.
When we juxtaposition the story of Mary and Joseph recorded in Luke with what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, so much about God is known. Think about it. Mary has unbelievable news. Pregnant by means of the Holy Spirit? The Son of God in her womb? And Joseph opts to accept this story and then live into it. Those steps he took to Bethlehem with a donkey’s reigns in one hand and uncertainty (and certainty) in the other are truly remarkable. God speaks through Paul, and this couple’s journey may be what directs Paul to speak about love, real love.
Love trusts. Love seeks understanding. Love lives unto itself even (or especially) in dire situations and derailed storylines. Love levels hurts. It also hardens hope so that hope, the whimsical emotion, is not floating in the wind but is fed each moment by what it needs, and what it needs could be called don’t-mess-with-me steamroller love because love, deep and true, always gives life, direction and purpose.
We are all on a journey. Hallelujah to this! Our journeys can be much like Mary and Joseph’s and Dakota and Kailey’s. So, I will share with you what I shared with the newlyweds. Leave your baggage, which has a negative connotation. Unpack love each day.
PRAYER: Lord, help us each day to unpack what love will do not now and again, but always, and that’s keep us on course. Amen.