Of love and loss

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Long before Corinthian leather was an automotive selling point, 1 Corinthians 13:13 provided the nutshell paragraph for life.

I’m currently watching some people for whom I care deeply struggle with the loss of a loved one. Death is in everyone’s future, but it is so often dealt as a sucker punch.

For those of us with a Christian perspective, we are told to choose life. Death is just a transition to another phase of life, but it doesn’t always make it easier for those of us left behind.

Some people say that grief gets easier over time; personally, I believe it changes over time, but is not necessarily any easier down the road. You learn how to live without the consistent interaction with that person. They hold a piece of your heart forever; it isn’t necessarily easier — you become accustomed to the absence, there are new milestones everywhere, and a loneliness where that person once lived in your life.

There was a period of 27 months where I saw 24 deaths in my immediate circle of friends, colleagues and family. I’ve stopped counting, but loss is something you never quite perfect. Love, however, is a different story.

In this life there are many manifestations of love. Romantic love is just the tip of the iceberg. To be passionate about a person, a cause, or a belief is divine.

Divinity knows love and loss, too. For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son… God loves us. These are the most powerful three words imaginable, wrapped up in the knowledge that this love cost Him the death of his Son, who turned death into life through resurrection.

We cannot immediate fill the hole left by those we’ve lost, but perhaps knowing that longing through loss crosses over time and mortality helps us be kinder to those around us.

None of us gets out of life alive. Let’s resolve not to live like we’re already dead while we still have time here.

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