October's guest blog comes from Rev Carla Hall, she is a minister in my local circuit 'North Shields and Whitley Bay' and she is based at St Johns Methodist Church. Once again please feel free to leave a thought or comment at the bottom.
Like many little girls, I dreamt that wedding bells might one day chime out for me – but I knew that it had to be with someone I regarded as the ‘one and only’; a man who would not only bring out the best in me, but for whom I could do the same; a relationship in which both people would complement each other, enabling both to flourish. This is only possible, I believe, through love. Not lust but genuine love – something that can survive even the difficult times.
A year ago this month, I began to hear those bells ring out for me. The setting was next to a stunning harbour in
Northern Cyprus, where my fiancé (as is now) gently asked me the question “will you marry me?”. Not isolated as a couple, but near to my family and close friends. In an intimate and delightful moment, he and I shared his question and my positive response before announcing our exciting news with those who were there with us. My fiancé knew that family and friends are so important to me that I would want to share this precious moment with them.
A further beautiful part of the story is that the ring that I now wear upon my finger once dressed his maternal grandmother’s hand, as the gold he used to commission my engagement ring is taken from her wedding ring. This band of gold remains for another generation a symbol of love. I am certain that, if it could speak, it would tell of times of difficulty as well of immense joy – but the love remains constant, firm and deep.
As you pause for this moment to reflect, perhaps you might want to think about what your significant symbols of love are. I appreciate that love is too complicated to be confined to an inanimate object, but what prompts you to think of love and why? What’s the narrative that lies behind the article?
Sometimes earthly love, for many reasons, can feel to be wounded or even broken. Relationships can falter and fail yet in the Bible we read these words in 1 Corinthians 13: 13 (NIV, UK)
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.
As a Christian I believe deeply in God, and if I had to describe God in one word, I would choose the word LOVE. To me, all that God represents, all that God does, all that God is, is love; evident in such things as creation, stories of healing and wholeness as well as in relationships. I believe that, as humans, we love because God gave us a perfect model. I might not always express my love perfectly, but as a Christian I seek to reflect the love of God throughout my whole life. The love that God offers is always trustworthy, always dependable, always pure and always life-giving.
May we always know love in our lives.