Friday, October 2, 2009


Jacob had two appointments today: occupational therapy and physical therapy. He got a whole body work out. Focusing on getting his right arm stretched and moving - his hand doing more and not just being limp. He can do things but he is holding back - favoring his arm. It feels weird to touch things and try to use it. His thumb surgery is still to come - MRI on Monday. He is so overwhelmed by it all - such a mountain to climb. He does not have the advantage of seeing the mountains that he already has climbed. Yes we remind him, encourage him, empathise with him. But mainly what we need to focus on is that we simply love him. Remind him that we are right were we want to be. Loving each other is the most important thing to carry us through right now.

Love is not fluffy, clean, happy faces.

Love is gritty, dirty, tough.

Probably the most use verse at weddings has got to be 1 Cor 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

If we really took these verses to heart it would change what we have made love to be. Love gets dirty so that healing can come. It gets in there and cleans the wounds and wipes up the mess. It confronts wrongdoing not in pride and boasting but in humility and submission. Love desires that the other is moved toward wholeness - that sin is forgiven and cleansed - relationships are reconciled. Love is not easy - it is probably one of the three hardest things that we will ever have to face. Try to tell that to a young couple the week before their wedding. Try to tell that what they are about to experience will have times of filthy grime - of wallowing in mud. Patience is not easy, kindness at 4 am when the baby starts crying?

Love is dirty - I have seen love - I have seen it as Debbie changes the dressings on Jacob's injuries. I watched as she applied ointment to the skin graft on his head. I have seen love as friends sit with us at the hospital with bottles of water - every single night. I have seen love as meals are left for us, windows are cleaned, carpets given, songs sung, signs made, hugs given. I have seen the kind side of love - envy free, caring and not rude. I have seen love in simple, earnest, heart-poured out prayers. Non of this love is fluffy, clean smiley faces love. It is on our knees getting dirty sacrificial love. This kind of love leads to joy, strengthens faith, encourages hope.

Christ love is a messy, dirty love. It is a bloody mess hanging on the cross - murderous love. The cross is scandalous and beautiful; innocence was crucified; love was fully, wholly on display in messy, dirty beauty. Perhaps we (I) have a hard time seeing love in this way. I want love to be free of all problems, carefree, happy-go-lucky and innocent. True love is from God and removes sin, guilt, all accusations. Loves moves through the dirt and cleans it up so that there is freedom. If love does not get dirty, nothing is cleaned.

I am not so sure the rest of that chapter in 1 Cor is used at weddings:

Love never fails.
But where there are prophecies, they will cease;
where there are tongues, they will be stilled;
where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
When I was a child, I talked like a child,
I thought like a child,
I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man,
I put childish ways behind me.
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror;
then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part;
then I shall know fully,
even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Maturity grows from infatuation, me-centered affinity to get dirty commitment and trust growing toward perfection. And though things are not perfect right now - we through the love of Christ have the opportunity and blessing to move toward God as we move and grow and realize that our attempts at love are just a reflection of what is truly found in God who is love.
In Faith. In Hope In Love.
Tom (Dad)


Anonymous said...

We love you Kirkendall's and continue to pray for your family.
Love the Moreno's

Lori said...

You are always in our thoughts and prayers without even asking. We dont know you but yet love you so much.