Love: Like Walking A Tightrope In A Thunderstorm

If this life is a balancing act, then love is like walking a tightrope in a thunderstorm while juggling hungry monkeys.

There is always the danger of a tumble; always the chance those who have access will shake our foundation, throw us off balance. It opens the possibility that our life and hopes and dreams will become weapons used against us.

There is also great power in love. It can heal a heart and restore faith. It can change a mindset and breathe life back into disappointment. When love takes up residence, together we can do big things. It also awakens the possibility we will find someone who believes in our dream- and us.

Love is a paradox. It’s yes and no; give and take; life and death. It’s much more complicated than our comfort will let us admit.

Love always leaves a mark.
Investment always costs something.

If it doesn’t, is it love at all?

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 The Passion Translation

Love is large and incredibly patient.
Love is gentle and consistently kind to all.
It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else.
Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance.
Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor.
Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense.
Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong.
Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others.
Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.

Love never stops loving.

Those 4 short verses give us a staggering, beautiful description of what love looks like.
However, if we distill it down to an easy to follow checklist, a measuring stick, it can cause great damage to others and ourselves. (I’ve included it below in the ESV for reference.)


Love is large and incredibly patient

but it is not passive and uninvolved.

Love waits well, trusting the Creator’s timing in all things.
Sometimes love knows when it’s time to say, “Enough is enough.”
It enables us to wait as others become healed, whole, or able.
We wait in their effort but we do not wait in denial.
Love says this is what I see, and this is what I need.
Love always rejects dysfunction and disrespect as acceptable norms.


Love is gentle and consistently kind

but doesn’t find it’s worth in people pleasing.

Love brings a gentle spirit to all things.
Sometimes the kindest thing we can do is say:
No. That’s not acceptable in our relationship.
Love knows when to walk away from someone to live another day.
Love rejects the political bent that says your value comes from with whom you associate.
Love refuses the religious judgment that says your value is in believing as I do.


Love refuses to boil with jealousy

but it purposely celebrates when success comes to others.

Love reacts in the opposite spirit of jealousy and spite.
Sometimes love stands tall in defiance of our emotions because
It knows that Our Source holds blessings for all people and
his coffers are unlimited- he is Maker of all things.
Love rejoices in other’s success because it knows
we each bring something of value to the table.


Love does not brag about its own importance

but it shares when hopes and dreams come true.

Love is just as vulnerable in its success and victory
as in its need and want.
Sometimes love steps up and says
“Look what I did. Please celebrate with me.
Remember that God-sized dream I had? It happened.
In his goodness, he answered my prayer.”


Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect

but it sees the Image-Bearer in every face we meet.

Love refuses to shame anyone we contact during our work,
our play, or in the mirror.
Sometimes love steps in and tells the truth about how Your Creator sees you.
Love listens to the horror story of pain but refuses to see the storyteller in that light.
Love considers every wounded soul in the Light of healing and wholeness.
Love speaks the Truth in opposition to brokenness.


Love is not easily irritated or overly sensitive

but it never shuts down discernment or the ability to see.

Love doesn’t keep a scorecard nor a spreadsheet of relationships.
Sometimes Love tunes into the sensitivity, see the Spirit weight on it
and passes on the life-giving, light shedding Truth it reveals.
Love refuses to take things personally, see others through our accusations or assumptions.
Love refuses to dwell on offense nor allow it to fester.
Love isn’t resentful even when wronged, but fixes attention on what is lovely and right.


Love joyfully celebrates honesty

but it never exposes, shames or embarrasses another.

Love rejoices when truth prevails and honesty takes over a life.
Sometimes love screams and sings and throws a dance party when
chains fall off because it knows that is the only way freedom comes.
Love finds no delight in wrong revealed or when others falter.
Love always protects the heart entrusted to its confidence.
Love rejects comfortable lies in favor of painful truth above all else.


Love is a safe place of shelter

but it never harbors harm, hides abuse, or denies brokenness.

Love never exposes another to judgment or scrutiny of others.
Sometimes love shines a light on other’s sin but only within healthy
relationship and only in the safest company, place and time.
Love is a place of refuge when life’s storms threaten to destroy.
It never stops believing that all humanity bears God’s imprint and image.
Love never exposes one person’s weakness to justify another’s.

Love never stops loving

but sometimes it surrenders its right to have and hold.

Love never loses faith but holds on in all circumstances. Love refuses to let go.
Sometimes love looks different from what it has before as it learns to
let go and trust the healing and restoration still to come.
Love believes God will do what he says he will do.
Love never lapses or collapses even when it must love from afar.
Love rejects the counterfeit safety of isolation and independence.

Love never stops.

Love never fades into the background,
never surrenders,
never turns away.

Love never stops loving.


1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (ESV)
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends.

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