Day #28: Love

There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear expects punishment. The person who is afraid has not been made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18

Of course it was only a matter of time until Love showed up in #40DaysofResilience. Like 1 Corinthians 13 says, “Love is patient; love is kind.” Love contains the qualities of resilience, and love makes us resilient. When you respond to trauma, disaster, setbacks by finding something to love, you are being resilient. Love is that great good engine of resilience. You are finding goodness in spite of pain. For recovering perfections (raise your hand), it can be a intimidating to think that love is perfect. But what the verse above says is that we are made perfect by love. If you have love in your life, you’ve already reached perfection. You don’t need to be perfect anymore. The word in Greek also often implies completeness; so it’s not so much that love has anything to do with being perfect, but that love is so complete that perfectionism is a false aspiration. Your ability to perfect or please is completely unrelated to your capacity for love, because you are already loved and there is no need to earn it.

Takeaway: Love boldly. Love widely. Move through the world assuming that love is looking for you, that love is on its way to meet you. Tell someone you love them; do something loving; do something you love; assume the best; assume those around you are trying to love as best they know today. What more is there to say about love? Everything. But you already know it. Your lungs were made to love.


Gathering the Stones is providing 40 days of reflections on resilience during Lent. Check back for new reflections every day (except Sundays).

How to Read the Bible in 40 Days

Of course, the trick is not to read it in 40 days. What I’m aiming for is a book a day, which is about two-thirds of the Bible by books but half by actual page count. There wasn’t anything I was itching to give up this year, but I’ve spent a lot of time complaining recently (read: the last five years) about low biblical literacy. But I haven’t read big chunks of the Bible since seminary. I miss it. I can’t, in the next month, make space to read the whole Bible, but I can fit in a good chunk of it. With my life being what it is, and the election cycle being what it is, it seemed like a good time to read the Bible. Within some reasonable parameters.

When people tell me they want to get more familiar with the Bible and ask where to start, usually I say “the short books.” Start with the short books, because it’s a little like Shakespeare: the more you read, the more you enjoy it. Warm up on the sonnets, and you’ll be laughing out loud when you get to Much Ado about Nothing. The Bible is funny, at times. But the humor requires context. Continue reading