“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” I Corinthians 13:4
It’s nearly sixty degrees here on the coast of Maine, making even the crustiest of characters a bit giddy. We can’t help ourselves. The winters here wax long and bitter, the spring, such as it is, dampish and chill at best. The day dawned foggy with a hint of drizzle, and just now opened wide at mid-day to skies bright enough to make you blink.
I have a friend who lives on the far coast in the opposing corner. He knows me by heart, and says he loves me. We’ve known one another since childhood after all, yet he is not very nice. When a Nor’easter threatens to blow us all out to sea, he calls to tell me his afternoon Pickle ball is canceled because it’s 103 degrees. When I call to share the good news that we’ve just now put away the snow blower and finished the first hopeful round of mowing, he tells me he’s sharing poolside lunch with friends.
Envy feels a lot like anger and a little like fear. It starts as a small ball in the pit of the stomach, spreading upward with surprising urgency. Uncomfortable as heartburn, yet harder to cure, it makes me want to stamp my feet in protest that we like the weather this way. We tell ourselves that we wouldn’t trade this afternoon’s profusion of spring color for all the orange and lemon trees within his reach. So why does envy take up residence in my chest uninvited when he calls on just such a day as this?
Jealousy and envy insist on robbing us of our joy. These evil twins remind us that no matter how much we have or how richly we enjoy the day, somebody has it better than we do. Our most pleasant of spring weather in Maine makes Californians reach for their sweaters and fleece against the cold.
After enjoying our little tantrums that life isn’t fair, we look up and remember that what we have this moment is sufficient. We may not have won the lottery that will grant us a Dream Home on HGTV, yet we’ve won the love lottery. We’re rich in the love of God which can’t be bartered or bought but comes to us unearned for free. We’re wealthy beyond measure in the love we share with each another. Love is patient and love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. Love never ends.
God’s grace, mercy and peace,
Pastor Anna V. Copeland
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