I am back home in North Carolina for a few days helping my parents out with some issues. It has been an interesting trip because my mother is well known for having no verbal filter but being a loving person (those two things often clash). Mom has spent a lot of her life with her foot in her mouth because of the lack of discretion over what she says. Talking about people's weight. Asking if someone is pregnant when they are not. Knowing just the thing to say that will grate on someone's nerves. I have always wondered why she has lived this long without someone really going off on her. Then I remembered 1 Corinthians 13. I thought about this passage about love and I think I have a new take on it.
Mom sometimes has said things that cause us (and other people) to say, "I can't believe she just said that." In wondering how she has gotten away with this for 86 years I think I have figured it out. You can say things (lots of things) when they are said in the attitude of love. I can't think of any malicious thing Mom has said. She pretty much gives everyone grace ... lots of it. So when she insults me I just let it roll off my back because I know she loves me and pretty much everyone else. Without love we are clanging symbols and noise. Any eloquence and power that supports our speech is lost if we speak without love. Pretty words are nothing if love doesn't back them up.
I wonder (on this anniversary of freedom here in America) what would happen if we asked "Does he/she really love the people he/she represents?" about our elected leaders? I wonder ... if the test were love of country, people and our founding documents, how many of our leaders would stand? "My native country, thee, land of the noble free, thy name I love, I love thy rocks and rills, thy woods and templed hills; my heart with rapture fills, like that above." Great words from a great song.
If you tell me in love, I will listen, even if is painful. And yes, Mom ... those milkshakes are adding a few pounds!