What does real love look like? Seminary, Cohorts and M.E.

What does love with forbearance and forgiveness look like?  What does love lived with passion and open eyes look like?  Can the two be one?

My cohort may never forgive me for this one, but I pray they ‘get’ it… In fact, I am pretty sure they will.

In my cohort of over 20 people we have all kinds.  We come from all over the country.  Not everyone would choose to spend time as ‘best-ies’ outside of school, but we have found a common connection beyond our call.  It is called love.

We are not perfect.  We drive each other nuts even as we drive each other on in joy. Here is a short list of some of our better or worse attributes (you decide if they are good or bad, it is all perspective):

Some of us are:
Sociable         Talkative             Timid                Private              Boisterous              Methodical
Studious         Loud                   Meek               Confident          Artistic                   Capable
Skilled            Experienced        Expressive        Modest             Flashy                    Articulate
Simple            Detailed              Humble             Joyous              Self Conscious       Self starters
Driven            Affectionate        Bubbly              Frustrated         Busy                       Calm

You see, we are all kinds of things.  Sometimes annoyingly so, even to each other.  But in those moments that would drive anyone else mad, we are blessed with this amazing grace that lets us see past the annoying part and LOVE the person in front of us.  They are part of us, they are us.  We know no matter how good they may be at something we are not good at, that they are a little doubtful of a different, weaker, skill of attribute of their own.  We know we all bring something to the table.  More than anything, I have seen tremendous patience.  It allows us to breathe, to listen and to HEAR and see each other and what is really happening around us, not just what is colored by our immediate reaction.

This group of people is full of imperfection and disagreement.  One of my closest friends in this group goes NUTS every time she finds out I have not started a 10 page paper that is due in 5 hours- because she is a planner and does her work methodically and carefully.  I on the other hand vomit words on paper and try to sort it out.  It works for me. Hers works for her.  The best part?  We both get A’s but if we tried it the other way we would fail miserably.  The lesson here is that we could really drive each other to distraction with our differences, but instead, we love each other all the more.  We (or at least I do) find great comfort in the difference that we see with eyes wide open, full of passion and yet, in forbearance and forgiveness.  (She really needs to forgive me for the white hairs I am giving her when she finds out about these papers… I will buy her hair dye as a token apology next time I see her.)

We are NOT this way because we are future pastors… but we are this way because the Holy Spirit allows us to LOVE with eyes wide open, with deep and convicting passion, with forbearance, and most importantly, with forgiveness.  I could not ask for more.  Now I just wish I could bottle that for the world.

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