Friday, February 11, 2005


1 Corinthians 13 (New International Version)

1 Corinthians 13


“1If I speak in the tongues[
a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not selfseeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love 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. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When 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. 12Now 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.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Oops! I almost forgot. Valentine’s Day is Monday and I almost forgot.

At about 10 o’clock this morning I called the Grand Central Hotel in Cottonwood Falls to make some dinner reservations for Valentine’s Day, which I assumed was a week from next Monday. I thought that I’d better call soon to be sure I could get a reservation. As I waited for the hotel to answer I could almost taste the steak I was going to get. The Grand has the best I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve eaten a lot. The Book says that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. I’ll bet I’ve sampled some from at least half of them. And next Friday I was planning on sampling from the very best.

When Suzan, the Grand’s owner I answered I asked tentatively if there were still any reservations available for next Friday. “What time would you like?” she asked. I was floored. “What times do you have?”
“We’re wide open.”
“How about six thirty then?”
“That’ll be fine.”
So we made the reservation and then I started thinking to myself. “You know these cowboys aren’t very romantic, but I sure would have thought that I would have had problems getting a reservation.” Then I mentioned something in passing to Suzan about Valentine’s Day specials and that’s when I got my answer. “We do have some specials this weekend, since Valentine’s Day is this Monday coming.”

Man oh man, did I feel like a real idiot. I asked if I could change the reservation to the right day and Suzan said they were booked tonight, Saturday, Sunday, and next Monday. Apparently cowboys are more romantic than I gave them credit for.

What could I do? I thought of some sort of bribe, but before I could Suzan bailed me out. “Could you live with an 8:30 tonight?”
“Oh, you betcha!”
You know I think I can even squeeze you two in at eight.”
“That’s even better.”

Well, once I was bailed out I had to make my mad dash out to get a few gifts appropriate for the occasion, a scarf, a bottle of perfume, and a book – “The Sucker’s Kiss.” From there all it took was a quick jaunt to the Flint Hills Mall (yes, we really have one) to get a Valentine’s card and one last stop at the florist to get small bud vase of flowers.

It’s nice to live in a small town when you need to do things in a hurry. It only took me two hours from the time Suzan rescued me to get everything done.

Now I’m home thinking, “Ain’t love grand!”

Right now my mind is on the day Nancy and I got married. I’ll always remember the words of Paul Smith, the minister who officiated at the wedding. He told us that we were going to see many facets of love during our lives. He reminded us that we were to be friends, lovers, and, as Christians, brother and sister. I’ve never forgotten that.

He also told us that we were going to mature, to move from illusion to disillusion, from seeing one another solely through the illusory eyes of romance and moving to the place where we saw one another as we really were, and are.

As I sit here now I’m again seeing how right Paul was. I’m not married to an illusion; I’m married to Nancy Catron, a real living person who has ups and downs, hopes, dreams, moods, faith, doubt, anger, joy, sadness. She’s a complete person. And Nancy sees the same in me. Living life as an illusion would never have sustained us. That’s not the stuff love is made of. If it was all an illusion it would have broken long ago. But, thankfully, God put us together to shatter illusions and in so doing He strengthened the love between us.

Ah, yes…..Ain’t love grand! Beyond anything else, the flowers and the gifts, it’s the one thing that sustains us. I used to hear when I was young that love is for fools and that love doesn’t pay the bills. I sit here and realize how wrong those who said those things were. Love is indeed grand!

1 comment:

David M. Smith said...

Hi Phil,

What an inspirational post. I have linked to it