Some loves are more turbulence-tested; more hardship-calcified; more resilient than others. I think of inter-racial couples when that was most definitely not allowed. I think of those same couples in later decades when it was technically allowed but whispered about; frowned upon; criticized; dangerous. That’s still the case for some. I think of lovers from warring people groups or incompatible factions. I think of same-sex couples. Those two-ships that celebrate alone, quietly; pews or houses or the approval of loved ones discernibly empty or absent.
And I think of children born under questionable circumstances. The ones that received dirty looks from the neighborhood moms; the ones that caused late-night arguments or were loved fiercely despite that love being insulted or condemned. And I think of the children not born at all, or not given time on this earth. Those loves carry on – deep, painful, very much alive, held tightly in the chests of those that preserve them.
And I think of the mothers that love their children as they grow into criminals or drug addicts. The ones that show up on court day for their sons or daughters when no one else is willing to. That bail them out; love them through lies and abuse; love them despite the pain and devastation they cause. I think of the spouses that continue to care for their lover, or the child that cares for a parent, after a stroke, brain injury, or terminal diagnosis. That spend weeks or months or years helping them go to the bathroom; giving up their dreams or plans; paying medical bills; not walking away.
Those that experience these loves have a much harder road than some. They aren’t able to post their wedding video on social media and have everyone in their circles fawn over it. Those roads don’t include the picture-perfect baby photos that some are blessed with. They don’t include easy family gatherings and generous bounties of grandchildren.
Instead, these resilient loves bestow things that are difficult; desperate; tragic. Coffins, bankruptsy, heartache, ostracization, broken relationships, empty picture frames, or grainy photos – the last ones of a loved one taken too soon. They have battle scars. They’re quiet; enduring; faithful.
Jesus and His mother knew a thing or two about resilient love. I appreciate that today.