some tastes of love

For today I wanted to include some excerpts from books, and some Scripture, that tells of the beauty that love is.  Happy Valentine's Day!

This first excerpt is taken from "Passion and Purity" by Elisabeth Elliot, and speaks of what she was learning as she learned to trust God in her relationship with the man who would become her husband, Jim.

   *Love interprets things in favor of the one loved.  I had a long way to go to learn that, but the principle is clear enough in Paul's description: "Love is patient...never selfish, not quick to take offense.  Love keeps no score of wrongs...  There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope, and its endurance."
   The trouble, of course, is that we must learn to love people.  People are sinners.  Love must be patient when it is tempted (by the delays of other people) to be impatient.  Love must not be selfish, even if other people are.  Love does not take offence, though people are offensive sometimes.  There are wrongs, but love won't keep score.  there are things to be faced, but nothing love can't face, things to try love's faith, discourage its hope, and call for its endurance; but it keeps right on trusting, hoping, and enduring.  Love never ends.

Then a drop of heavenly love
Fell upon me from above,
And by secret mystic art
Reached the center of my heart.
-- Charles Spurgeon

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! It is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although its height be taken.
Love's not times fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with brief hours and weeks,
But it bears out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

-- William Shakespeare 

I just like this song by Frank Sinatra.  I think it's sweet.

When Jonathan Edwards was twenty years old, he wrote a love letter to the woman who would later become his wife, 13-year-old Sarah Pierpont.  I think it's really beautiful to see what qualities he valued in her most.

They say there is a young lady in New Haven who is beloved of that Great Being, who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this Great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight; and that she hardly cares for any thing, except to meditate on Him—that she expects after a while to be received up where He is, to be raised up out of the world and caught up into heaven; being assured that He loves her too well to let her remain at a distance from Him always. There she is to dwell with Him, and to be ravished with His love and delight for ever. Therefore, if you present all the world before her, with the richest of its treasures, she disregards it and cares not for it, and is unmindful of any pain or affliction. She has a strange sweetness in her mind, and singular purity in her affections; is most just and conscientious in all her conduct; and you could not persuade her to do any thing wrong or sinful, if you would give her all the world, lest she should offend this Great Being. She is of a wonderful sweetness, calmness, and universal benevolence of mind; especially after this Great God has manifested himself to her mind. She will sometimes go about from place to place, singing sweetly; and seems to be always full of joy and pleasure; and no one knows for what. She loves to be alone, walking in the fields and groves, and seems to have some one invisible always conversing with her.

 This song is sweet too.

Finally, here is a reminder of the best love there is: the love of God.

**When God Weeps

“The face that Moses had begged to see—was forbidden to see—was slapped bloody (Ex. 33:19-20). The thorns that God had sent to curse the earth’s rebellion now twisted around his own brow…
   “On your back with you!” One raises a mallet to sink in the spike. But the soldier’s heart must continue pumping as he readies the prisoner’s wrist. Someone must sustain the soldier’s life minute by minute, for no man had this power on his own. Who supplies breath to his lungs? Who gives energy to his cells? Who holds his molecules together? Only by the Son do “all things hold together” (Col. 1:17). The victim wills that the soldier live on—He grants the warriors continued existence. The man swings.
   As the man swings, the Son recalls how He and the Father first designed the medial nerve of the human forearm—the sensations it would be capable of. The design proves flawless—the nerves perform exquisitely. “Up you go!” They lift the cross. God is on display in His underwear and can scarcely breathe.
   But these pains are a mere warm-up to His other and growing dread. He begins to feel a foreign sensation. Somewhere during this day an unearthly foul odor began to waft, not around His nose, but His heart. He feels dirty. Human wickedness starts to crawl upon His spotless being—the living excrement from our souls. The apple of His Father’s eye turns brown with rot.
   His Father! He must face His Father like this!
   From heaven the Father now rouses Himself like a lion disturbed, shakes his man, and roars against the shriveling remnant of a Man hanging on a cross. Never has the Son seen the Father look at Him so, never felt even the least of His hot breath. But the roar shakes the unseen world and darkens the visible sky. The Son does not recognize these eyes.
   “Son of Man! Why have You behaved so? You have cheated, lusted, stolen, gossiped—murdered, envied, hated, lied. You have cursed, robbed, overspent, overeaten—fornicated, disobeyed, embezzled, and blasphemed. Oh, the duties You have shirked, the children You have abandoned! Who has ever so ignored the poor, so played the coward, so belittled My name? have You ever held Your razor tongue? What a self-righteous, pitiful drunk—You, who molest young boys, peddle killer drugs, travel in cliques, and mock your parents. Who gave You the boldness to rig elections, foment revolutions, torture animals, and worship demons? Does the list never end! Splitting families, raping virgins, acting smugly, playing the pimp—buying politicians, practicing exhortation, filming pornography, accepting bribes. You have burned down buildings, perfected terrorist tactics, founded false religions, traded in slaves—relishing each morsel and bragging about it all. I hate, loathe these things in You! Disgust for everything about You consumes Me! Can You not feel My wrath?”
   Of course the Son is innocent. He is blamelessness itself. The Father knows this. But the divine pair have an agreement, and the unthinkable must now take place. Jesus will be treated as if personally responsible for every sin ever committed.
   The Father watches as His heart’s treasure, the mirror-image of Himself, sinks drowning into raw, liquid sin. Jehovah’s stored rage against humankind from every century exploded in a single direction.
   “Father! Father! Why have You forsaken Me?!”
   But heaven stops its ears. The Son stares up at the One who cannot, who will not, reach down or reply.
   The Trinity had planned it. The Son endured it. The Spirit enabled Him. The Father rejected the Son whom He loved. Jesus, the God-man from Nazareth, perished. The Father accepted His sacrifice for sin and was satisfied. The Rescue was accomplished.”
-- Steven Estes and Joni Eareckson Tada
We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19

* excerpt taken from "Passion and Purity" by Elisabeth Elliot, page 169
 ** excerpt taken from "Boy Meets Girl" by Joshua Harris


tammy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tammy said...

Sarah, you remind me of Sarah Perpont! Such a sweet & kind beauty about you. Love You, Mama

Ellie said...

Wow, near the end there it really hit home. Thank you so much for posting this.

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