Saturday, April 6, 2013

Miss Francie...

I wish I had a photograph of her.Her face had 80 years more of wrinkles than features and her eyes were the most brilliant blue. I imagine at one time, Miss Francie was a beauty. Her heart was still a knock-out. She was the kind of woman who had probably lived in the same place her whole life and new everyone in town. She was beloved at Frisch's Big Boy. Everyone knew her name. She allowed me to pass in front of her. She told me my eyes were beautiful.

I told her her eyes were equally so. She told me she bet I was the kind of person that made everyone feel good about themselves. I told her I would try. She told me what it was all about. Life was about loving people and expecting nothing in return. You just loved. Simple and true. She was the most precious human I ever met. And I needed her words. I had come there to have lunch. I feasted on the widow's wisdom. Her timing was fortuitous. I had just come to the realization how bad I was at loving.There, in that dingy little diner. I had the revelation that my reasoning for others to have the wisdom of heaven, the revelation of Christ, the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit was entirely from selfish gain. I wanted them to love Jesus so they could love me better. It had very little to do with their place in eternity. Even less to do with the joy of salvation. It was almost entirely about the fact that they would love and understand me so much better if they just loved Jesus. How selfish. How disgusting. How humbling a thought. Mis Francie got it. She understood the beauty of unselfish love. She understood that you just love. That's your only job. It requires no participation. She understood that that's how you win your neighbor...shape a culture...change the world. Love. Plain and simple. I was so ashamed. And so inspired. I want to be Miss Francie when I grow up.

The Way of Love / / 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 ESV

 "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
 As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.  So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

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