“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God.”  1 John 4:7

Love.  It’s a word thrown around easily.  I do it.

And then life unfolds and the power of that word is body felt.

Love connects us, one to the other.  It transcends miles.  It thrums in an ache of such intense pain when our beloveds are vulnerable.

Cancer diagnoses, illness, the vulnerability of our body and soul selves.  There is risk in the communion of this thing called loving.  Sometimes the raw ache of it feels impossible to hold.

My mother, who has challenged and blessed my heart, is in the ER far from me.  I hold her.

A beloved sister friend who is medicine for the heart of the world has been diagnosed with cancer.  I hold her.

This thing sprung from the heart of God. This thing called loving.

It is everything.

And so speaks Sophia (who goes by the name of Mary Oliver):

West Wind #2 

You are young.  So you know everything.  You leap

into the boat and begin rowing.  But listen to me.

Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without

any doubt, I talk directly to your soul.  Listen to me.

Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest, and

your heart, and heart’s little intelligence, and listen to

me.  There is life without love.  It is not worth a bent

penny, or a scuffed shoe.  It is not worth the body of a

dead dog nine days unburied.  When you hear, a mile

away and still out of sight, the churn of the water

as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around the

sharp rocks – when you hear that unmistakable

pounding – when you feel the mist on your mouth

and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls

plunging and steaming – then row, row for your life

toward it. 

~ Mary Oliver ~

Thanks be to God for the agony that is love.

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