Love said she’d spare us the pain if she could.
She would cover us in a protective blanket to keep out the pain and loss,
all the suffering the world will bring.
She would use her body to shield us if she could,
to stop the boulders from rolling over us,
to stop the torrential rains from drenching our bodies and
invading our souls.
Love would keep out the cold that cuts so deep that our marrow no longer can flow
in the depths of our frozen bones.
She would build a wall around us and keep us safe
…if she could.
But she knows she can’t.
She knows the pain and suffering is as much a part of life as breathing.
And she can’t stop it,
anymore than she can stop the breath
that our lungs cry out for when they’ve been waiting for too long for our next inhalation.
The pain is not an accident, a symptom of life.
It is the heart of the process of
imprinting the lessons we are to learn on our hearts and in our minds.
The suffering is the bearer of compassion, perspective, sight, wisdom.
These are not the unfortunate side effects of being human.
They are the pens with which our stories are written
in blacks and blues
to make the fuschias and yellows and purples of joyful moments
leap off the white pages
of otherwise useless days.
Love turns, instead, to face the fire with us.
It isn’t her pain to suffer.
This isn’t the storm that was made for her or
the mountain created with her in mind
but she is Love and she will not let us face this alone.
She will never abandon us out of fear that the pain will be too great.
She will never tell us she will wait for us on the other side
or wait for us to return.
She will strip her feet bare to walk across the coals,
not in our place
but beside us so we won’t burn alone.
She will let go of the safety of her umbrella,
come out from under her safe shelter,
remove the hood of her coat
so that the rain and hail will pelt her face
so that we aren’t the only ones walking around with
bruised and broken faces.
Love saves by never leaving,
never abandoning us.
Her protection is her company and her faithfulness.
is in promising that
we will never face an enemy too frightening for her
because she has defeated them all and risen bloody but victorious.
She woke on Easter morning to promise the world that she is here and she is never leaving.