Thursday, June 3, 2010

Look What Love Does

    It was a whirlwind weekend! On Friday we (The Husband and I) were blessed to attend a surprise wine and cheese party for a dear friend hosted with great attention to detail and much care by our friend's adult children who had traveled from far and wide to bless their precious daddy on the occasion of his sixtieth (gasp) birthday. Their daddy was at work all day and had no idea that his other children had secretly flown in from Portland, Oregon, and Houston, Texas, to help the daughters who live here complete the transformation of the house into a beautiful venue for the party. Thoughtful preparation and and exquisite attention to detail were evident in every touch. There were six wine pairings for the evening-- each accompanied by specially selected cheeses to compliment the specific wines. Family and a few friends came to fill the man's home with joy and laughter and to tell stories in honor of the hospitality that is a hallmark of the friend's life. Yet the sweetest moment came when the daddy (who had been blindfolded) finally arrived to see his entire family waiting on the porch. There were hugs, kisses, and tears all around. And when I heard my friend's son standing to pray and bless his father, I thought to myself, "It doesn't get much better than this." It felt like a glimpse of heaven.

   Then on Saturday, I was honored to do the flowers for a bridal shower and luncheon that was to have been hosted by my friend who had lost her brother, but had to be moved at the last minute to another friend's house. It was a beautiful and special morning that came together as a result of many hands pitching in to bless a sweet bride. The friend who opened her home for the luncheon said it best when she blessed our meal as she reminded us all of the way life brings together joy and sorrow and how Jesus himself personified this truth in that "for the joy that was set before Him, He overcame the cross." Then at the end of the shower as the women gathered to lay hands on the bride to pray for her and her upcoming marriage, I knew that the Lord had indeed graced us again with the aroma of His sweet presence.

As I reflected afterward about each occasion I found myself marveling at the lengths to which love will go to be the instrument of blessing. Both events were beautiful parties that were in fact labors of love, but it was not the flowers or the food or the wine or the attention to detail that made the parties so special. It was the joy of sacrifice, the outpouring of love in community, and most importantly, the sweet and powerful sense of the Lord's pervasive all-encompassing presence that made these occasions unforgettable. I saw Paul's words in his letter to the Corinthians come to life: "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. Love never fails..." 

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