However, the hurt of love goes with the territory because we imperfect creatures who love each other spend so much time and so many unguarded moments together. As a result of caring so deeply, both the ecstasy and the pain that flows from our relationships is intensified. Truth be told, it is more difficult to consistently act with love toward our family and friends than it is to love our enemies.
That’s why real love must be laced with forgiveness and mercy. Although the painful memories may linger, love that lasts resists retaliation and holding a grudge. We who love, more often than we wish, have to say, “I’m sorry,” to each other.
In his poem “To Earthward,” the aged poet Robert Frost recalls that in his youth he “craved the strong sweets” of love. But after a lifetime of experiencing both the agony and ecstasy of real-life love, his longing changed:
Now no joy but lacks salt
That is not dashed with pain
And weariness and fault;
I crave the stain
Of tears, the aftermark
Of almost too much love,
The sweet of bitter bark
And burning clove.
Lord, our love for each other is too precious to be uncomplicated. Help us, like You, to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. Amen.
John Paul Carter’s “Notes From the Journey” is a regular feature of the Weatherford Democrat.