“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13
Last week I spoke at the funeral for a friend and former parishioner of a church I served as pastor. I spoke about the power of love and how, when everything else is gone, love remains; the greatest of things.
However, my words didn’t do justice to the power of love. I know because the love I experienced after I finished speaking was so much greater than anything I could say. I hesitated to write about it, in fact, because I fear my words, even now, will not adequately encapsulate this love power. I only hope my offering does this moment justice and that my sharing brings a little bit of this love into your world.
When I finished speaking my friend’s daughter, whom I’m also blessed to call my friend, got up to share memories of her mom. As she came up, I tried to roll away back to my seat only to be blocked by a microphone. My friend then encouraged me to stay for support instead of waiting for me to leave. I’m glad she did because the act of love I experienced was only made greater by the fact she did it naturally.
As she came up, I tried to raise the microphone. She proceeded to tell me it was ok, sat down on the step beside me, and began to speak. This single small act was so much greater than I can fully express. What’s more is that the speakers after her followed her example.
Think about this for a moment. She could have waited for me to move. She could have raised the microphone or walked over to another one in close proximity. She could have taken a step up onto the platform leaving me on the floor. All perfectly good options. This wasn’t about me after all. Except she didn’t do any of those things. She sat down.
Imagine a world where we not only thought to include each other, it came naturally. That’s what happened. I wasn’t alone. She wasn’t alone. None of us were alone. We were all together, experiencing and celebrating the life of our beloved. That’s the power of love.
When everything else passes away, these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.