Love: A Poem for the Second Sunday in Advent

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When I was small, love was small, too.
Not small as in limited,
but small as in contained, tidy, not far-flung.

I knew exactly whom I loved and who loved me,
and it felt a certain way without variation –
safe, warm, pleasant.

I could draw love –
crayon hearts around my family, my friends, my pets.
Very defined, very good, very straightforward.
That was love when I was small.

I am no longer small,
and neither is love.
Love bears but a vestige of what it once looked like to me.
Love is now wide-ranging,
all-encompassing,
challenging,
and occasionally downright uncomfortable.

The One for whom we wait this Advent season
began as a baby.
Responding to a baby is easy.
Adoration of an infant is understandable.
It happens all the time.

But this Savior, for whom we wait,
grew up,
and we must grow up with him,
and our love must  be wide-ranging
all-encompassing,
must evolve from a feeling to an action,
in order for us to be the hands, feet and voice
of the Love that so relentlessly sought
the least, the last, and the lost.

As we prepare ourselves anew
for the fresh inbreaking of God incarnate,
let us not be dismayed by the stretching and discomfort
that come with love lived out loud.

It isn’t small, and it isn’t tidy,
and it isn’t always comfortable,
but love that goes beyond itself
to those on the margins
is what the baby in the manger grew to embody.

Go, tell it on the mountain!
Love is big,
and God has drawn a heart
around
everyone.


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