“The passion of love bursting into flame is more powerful than death, stronger than the grave.” Song of Songs 8:6.
Last Saturday we gathered on the pristine Barwon Heads foreshore in Victoria, Australia. The day was perfection. Sunny and 23 degrees – a gentle breeze blew the white silky banners that marked the aisle down which two friends walked and made public their love and commitment to one another. They had waited a long time to tie this sacred knot. They, like so many before them and so many in the crowd, had fought for their right to say “I Do”. We honoured them … we cried with them … so, it seemed, did half of Barwon Heads, that stopped to watch the ceremony.
The fierce words of love were read:
Love is terribly offensive
To those who would wish it silenced.
Love does not tolerate discrimination.
It does not abide bigotry.
It does not play nice with fear.
Love does not wait in the corner
For hatred to consent to it speaking.
Love always wins
And Today is the fruit of its victory.
(words attributed to John Pavlovitz)
Love, we are told, and I truly believe, is the greatest of all. Saturday reminded me of that. Love is kind and compassionate. Love listens and is understanding …
AND love is FIERCE …
Love stands up in face of injustice. Love refuses to be silenced.
Love is defiant to an empire of power and greed.
Love turns power on its head – Easter is a fine reminder of that.
And love wins … love always wins in the end …
Remember that, dear friend …
We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.
– Maya Angelou –