Love is a Vocation

"Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1

Becoming Love

I clenched my fist with each demand;
Now I extend an open hand.
I clenched my teeth and thrust words curt;
Now my heart yields with every hurt.
I reveled in my rebel youth;
Now I rejoice in simple truth.

I wore my mask and trusted none;
Now I believe in everyone.
I gratified each selfish whim;
Now I control this self for Him.
I was depressed by death and strife;
Now I hope in eternal life.

I was the best: none could compare;
Now I prostrate; my soul is bare.
I had to race to reach my goal;
Now I seek stillness for my soul.
I renounced burdens as a loss;
Now I receive each gift of cross.

I served myself, my needs came first;
Now I serve Him: He cries 'I thirst!'
I looked away, I walked on past;
Now I serve them, the first are last.
I used them for my selfish gain;
Now I hold them and share their pain.

In every way, this heart was coal;
Transformed by Love, this heart's made whole!
This coal's consumed by Love's own fire:
Glows red as the Flame shoots higher.
Cold hearts of stone will rise above
As hearts of flesh engulfed in LOVE.

(c) Paul Buis, 2000

1. 1 Corinthians 13:4-10,13