Springingtiger's Blog

Favourite Folk (Love Endures)



Taj Mahal: Love Endures

While much of the time I find Facebook intensely irritating I do find its reminders of what I posted last year or three or four years ago very enjoyable. I suspect others do too. Today a friend of mine posted a photo taken of him, his wife and two friends outside a bar in Corfu several years ago. I wasn’t there, I don’t know the bar, but I do know all the four people in it. I haven’t seen three of them for many years, although I encounter them on Facebook, and it reminded me of how much I enjoyed their company when we moved in the same circles.

This weekend my wife and I had been hoping to get to a celebration of the life of a friend who died recently. I knew him when I was a student, my wife knew him through his daughter. It would have been nice to meet her again, we haven’t seen her since she stayed with her two young children. Then the younger was in nappies now he’s recently become engaged.

Sometimes it amazes me how quickly time flies by. At a family gathering recently I found myself reflecting on how recently the adults around the table had been the children served first so they could play while their parents enjoyed their own dinner. Now they sat with us as their children played.

However love pays no heed to the passage of time and the people we let into our hearts tend to remain there while many others we meet fail to find a lodgement and pass out of memory. The photograph of my friends showed me that I feel as warmly about them now as I did when we were all involved with the work of Landmark Education. My happy memories of skiing with them in Italy when my daughter was small are undiminished. It is funny how they remain so alive in my memory while so many others have faded. Of course one of the joys of that photograph is that it unlocked all my memories of them. “The mind is a complete multi-sensory record of successive moments of Now.” I learned in my Est training and it stuck with me. My friends faces allowed me access to every memory I have connected with them and it brightened up my whole day.

It is a shame that it is impractical to get to the memorial event at the weekend. However merely knowing about it and thinking about the people involved, just as my friends’ photograph did, brings up a feast of memories and in this case valuable lessons learned. Lessons that go back over forty years. A good lesson is as valuable now as even a couple of thousand years ago. One of those lessons of which the photo and the celebration I will miss remind me is that love never ends.

I generally dislike St. Paul for all the usual reasons: misogeny, twisting Jesus to fit a dodgy theology etc., but sometimes he wrote something good, sometimes beautiful. I had thought to quote one verse of 1 Corinthians 13, but the whole piece is too beautiful to cherry pick. (I personally would usually use the KJV, but the RSV is probably easier to grasp so here it is.)

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”


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