Prayer #99: Love Bugs

"If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.

And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.

If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, it is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.

For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.

When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.

At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.

So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

--{1 Corinthians 13: 1-13}

Prayer #99: Love Bugs

My love is impatient. My love is frustrated. My love doesn't want to be kind or understanding or polite.

My love wants its way. Which probably means I don't have love -- I just have agita.

So if my love isn't even formed ... then what? Maybe I first have to imagine and envision and act it -- even if I don't fully feel it -- to summon the gift into a solid state.

Maybe I do already have some love, though, and it's just young -- a neophyte emotion looking for a crack in the sidewalk to reach the sun where it won't scrape the ragged edges and retreat with a whimper.

Or maybe my love is here, fully formed, leaning against the door jamb with hands folded, an expectant look on its face, patiently waiting for my angry torment to subside so it can start on the real work of fixing things.

God, help me find peace in my partial knowing. Bear with me in my child-like ways. And teach me that love is patient, love is kind, and love can be -- will be -- me.