Thursday, August 19, 2010

Love never fails (read the fine print)

"Love never fails." No matter your spiritual background you have likely heard that one. But read the fine print. Love never fails (but people do, and they will).
What is the first thing that happens when love does fail? Does the person who failed get the blame? No. Love does. People get hurt and they swear they won't love again. Plus add to that, they have lost hope as well.
I've worked with a lot of families and have seen a lot of lost love -- and a lot of people failing one another. This kind of thing gives me fresh eyes for an old story.
There was a once son who had a family. It would have seemed as though he had all he needed. He even had a brother to lighten the load (and take part of the blame when things went wrong). And yet, there was discontent among the family members. The siblings were bickering, the son didn’t like that he lost privileges because the other sibling had broken some rules. In addition to all that, times were tight in the land and the son was not getting all the material things he believed he deserved. The son was tired of the chores, tired of the rules -- tired of the lack.
One day the son decided he was going to leave. He was entitled to have all he wanted, and to live the life of freedom he believed he deserved.  Did he ask for these things? No. He took them. In fact, he demanded them. And then he left. Left in a hurry without giving his family any time to prepare... or to have any closure.
From here most people know how that story goes. But there has got to be a back-story that few may have thought about.
What about those left back home? What about the father? Well, we know he was ever watching--hoping the son would return. But I imagine he was also grieving. What about the brother? We know he was angry and felt he got the short end of the stick. Why? Because he had not only been the one to work doubly hard now, but I imagine he may have also been someone who needed to comfort his father during this time of sadness and loss. No wonder he was angry! He is thinking "My brother is off having the time of his life, doing whatever he wants, getting all the clothes, food, easy company and laughter he wants. And me? I am working twice as hard now... and dealing with my father's broken heart."
Seems like it would be very easy in that situation to blame love. Love did fail! We gave our best, and still we are left with empty hearts and calloused hands!
Even when loss and disappointment of such life altering proportions does inevitably arrive (unannounced and unwelcome)... I must remind myself (and I encourage you to remind yourself) it is not love that failed. People fail. Love never fails. And please, try not to give up on hope either, for it was not hope that disappointed.
"Don't say it's love that broke your heart
When you trusted someone
Cause love's the victim, not the crime
And love will be there to break your fall
If you'll trust in love, just in love
Know that love could never break your heart
But love can break your fall.
I know it's hard to trust again
But I'll stay with you, stay with me now
Let go of your heartache, learn to forgive
Won't you wait just a moment
And give your heart a chance to begin again
Though you've run before
Tell me, where will you go if you walk out the door?
I could never have found my own way
It was God's love that saved this heart of mine from dying
And when you find His love is all that you have...
Then you see love is all that you need."
(By Grant Cunningham and Mark Hammond)