Blessing That Meets You in Love

For LoveImage: For Love © Jan Richardson

Reading from the Epistles, Epiphany 4, Year C: 1 Corinthians 13.1-13

And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three;
and the greatest of these is love.

—1 Corinthians 13.13

Loving is always risky, because we cannot enter into it without being changed. Altered. Transformed. In the face of this, we might well ask, Do I really want this? Do we really desire to be so undone?

Loving is never just about opening our heart. It is about being willing to have our heart become larger as we make room for people and stories and experiences we never imagined holding. It is about being willing to have our heart become deeper as we move beyond the surface layers of our assumptions, prejudices, and habits in order to truly see and receive what—and who—is before us. It is about being willing to have our heart continually shattered and remade as we take in not only the brokenness of the world but also the beauty of it, the astounding wonder that will not allow us to remain the same.

Blessing That Meets You in Love

It is true that
every blessing begins
with love,
that whatever else
it might say,
love is always
precisely its point.

But it should be noted
that this blessing
has come today
especially to tell you
it is crazy about you.
That it has been
in love with you
That it has never
not wanted
to see your face,
to go through this world
in your company.

This blessing thought
it was high time
it told you so,
just to make sure
you know.

If it has been shy
in saying this,
it has not been
for any lack of
wanting to.
It’s just that
this blessing
knows the risk
of offering itself
in a way that
will so alter you—

not because it thinks
you could stand
some improving,
but because this is
simply where
loving leads.

This blessing knows
how love undoes us,
unhinges us,
unhides us.

It knows
how loving
can sometimes feel
like dying.

But today
this blessing
has come to tell you
the secret
that sends it
to your door:
that it gives itself
only to those
willing to come alive;
that it vows itself
only to those
ready to be
born anew.

—Jan Richardson

For a previous reflection and blessing for this passage, click the image or title below:

Epiphany 4: The Greatest of These

Using Jan’s artwork…
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Using Jan’s words…
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6 Responses to “Blessing That Meets You in Love”

  1. Lynda Says:

    Jan, thank you for these beautiful words. As I read this, I thought that this could have been written specifically for me. When we have been deeply hurt, it is incredibly difficult to allow ourselves to be loved again until we reach the point where we are “willing to come alive” once more. Blessings to you, Jan, for sharing these thoughts.

  2. Rosalie Nleson Says:

    Jan–your poems, and your book, which I used during advent, have been a real blessing for me and those I have shared it with

  3. Anne Kern Says:

    thank you Jan for the reminder that Love doesn’t just stand knowing at the door of my heart, but if my spirit is open, She barges right in fantastically surprising ways. From the wondrously joyous to the chronically painful but always always tugging us into life. Blessings

  4. Jim McWhinnie Says:

    embracing grace and transforming grace, bundled and mingled together

  5. Ruth Says:

    Jan you have a knack of posting such timely blessings!
    This today could not have been more apposite for me. Your gentle reminder of beautiful truths I know so well and share so often with others- and yet need to hear from the pens/ gifts of others. In a tough journey of constantly needing to hold my heart wide open and have it shattered/ enlarged just now. Thank you for the reminder that with each bereavement there can be blessings of re-birth.

  6. Katie McNabb Says:

    Your words and particularly your poetry are so moving. Thank you for this wonderful insight into love. The person who rejects love does so not because of a lack of appetite for affection: God has built to live on that nourishment. No, people shy from love mostly from fear – from sensing what you observe, that love brings with it change and vulnerability and growth.

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