I recently went to a remembrance service for a young woman who had been battling with anorexia and sadly lost. In life she was courageous and spent much of her time abroad in voluntary work. She was clearly loved by many and the cathedral was full of family and friends wishing to pay tribute.
Unlike so many occasions as these it was neither morbid nor depressing. Instead tributes were paid to her life with humour and we sang songs she loved. At the end of the service we blew up balloons and hit them to each other around the cathedral each one had a positive message of hope. It was an uplifting event and one her family and close friends will treasure.
Why do I share this with you? In May of this year I lost my own beloved Mother. This was a very sad and difficult time for us all us a family. I treasure the last moments we spent together as Mother and daughter. We laughed and reminisced at things we had done over the years and the fact she had taught me so much. As with most families we’d had our share of arguments but somehow it didn’t seem important anymore.
One of the things I will cherish is on my last visit we hugged each other. I said. “I love you Mam she replied “I love you too more than anything and we wept.” Those were the last words we spoke to each other as a few days later she passed away.
In times such as this how important is love? Not the crazy fad you may have had as a teenagers or the love of something material in your life. I am referring to something much deeper.
The following is a reading from Corinthian 13. It was part of the remembrance service and resonated so strongly with me, it encompasses everything in three simple verses. Perhaps it will resonate with you in some way and you can take from it some positive hope and inspiration for your own life wherever you may be.
But I can show you an even better way.
I may speak in tongues of men or of angels, but if I have no love I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
I may have the gift of prophecy and the knowledge of every hidden truth; I may have faith enough to move mountains.
But if I have no love I am nothing….
Love is patient and kind. Love envies no one, is never boastful, never conceited, never rude, love is never selfish, never quick to take offence. Love keeps no score of wrongs, takes no pleasure in the sins of others, but delights in the truth. There is nothing love cannot face there is no limit to its faith, its hope it’s endurance. Love will never come to an end….
At present we only see puzzling reflections in a mirror, but one day we shall see face to face. My knowledge now is partial; then it will be whole, like God’s knowledge of me.
There are three things that last forever: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of all three is Love. Make Love your aim.
Whether you have fame, success, power or money, are educated or illiterate, life sends all of us challenges to deal with. I am not saying love is a panacea for everything, but it is certainly a strong antidote for getting us through tough times.
Picture courtesy Flickr commons Noah Sydnor