Wednesday, April 17, 2013

One Hundred Mornings day 13: true love

I've started this fantastic little Bible Study. I have loved doing it on my own and can hardly wait to share it with my small group in a few weeks. I carve out a few minutes here, a half hour there to read and study and fill the margins with scribbles and scriptures.

Yesterday my Bible Study centered on the word hesed. In the context of my study the words appears first when Naomi is blessing her daughters in-law and she says "may the LORD show hesed to you" and the study unpacked the meaning of the word  - my summary of half a page is this: hesed - acting in love, with devotion, loyalty, graciousness, selflessness, for the other person's benefit, regardless of how the other person is reciprocating (or a lack thereof). It is how God loves us with a covenant love.

I can't help but think that this is how I try to love my family. To show hesed towards my husband means I try to be kind, affectionate and always act in his best interests whether he is being a grump or out earning the father-of-the-year award (of course my own grumpiness and self-centeredness often get in the way - but I try) and my kids - oh my little ones. Selfless love is mother-love.

I sit and sip my coffee, I scribble in the margin of my study, windows open, cool breeze blowing, mother-made quilt on my lap, favorite sweater keeping me comfy. Eli climbs up in my lap to snuggle and I am filled with the desire to show this hesed kind of love today.

But then - the  day starts. I open the fridge to pour some milk and curious fingers keep the fridge open "eat?" Eli asks and he starts to touch the items in the fridge, "stop!" I say it but don't move. He pulls down some beans and corn - my lunch spills on the kitchen floor.  I blame myself, since what kid under  two stops in the middle of exploring? Or stops the first time you say it? I blame myself because wrapping bowls with foil is not kid-proof in the least. I blame myself but I'm kinda mad at him.

I feel it in my gut - the choice to hesed - to love no matter how I'm feeling, regardless of how my love is behaving - to choose to act in a way that is best for my loved one. I wrap Eli in my arms. "Mess" he says. I kiss the top of his head "Yep, it's a mess" I echo "Eat?" he asks "No buba we can't eat beans off the floor" "clean-up" he says as I find a bowl and begin to wipe away the mess. He cries as the beans go in the trash "eat?" he asks again. "No baby, those beans are dirty" I sign dirty and he signs it back.

I don't feel hesed. I feel screaming and pouting and how could you? and why? and this is just spilled beans. Not a big deal. I have a lot to learn, but this morning I choose hesed. I choose love. And we put on our shoes and go outside and soak in some sunshine.

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