God is...

June 8, 2013

Dwight Lee Wolter

"God is love." - 1 John 4:8

My first true love was poetry. My second true love was Nancy. Since then, my first girlfriend is long gone, but my poetry has long remained. How did this happen?

The biggest obstacle to love and poetry is making it more complicated than it really is. Poems often begin by honoring a whisper barely heard; a feeling vaguely felt; a belief newly formed; an insight nearly overlooked. And then, often in the most inconvenient circumstances—out comes the spiral notebook, the pen, the computer, the cocktail napkin—and the poem writes itself as you witness its birth.

Poems are as plentiful as dust particles suspended in air. They are everywhere, waiting to be inhaled, sometimes with a scent of jasmine, sometimes with the scent of a farmer's field.

Love too is plentiful and all around, a low-hanging fruit on the tree of life that thrives in every climate.

But sometimes a snippet of a poem or a whiff of love seems like it is not enough and then the ruinous pursuit begins. The well-intended packing of additional stanzas and tepid turns of the tongue around a morsel of poetry can obscure its clarity and beauty. And the well-intended packing of conditions, explanations and quotations around love can crush it like pretty stones dumped on top of a fragile flower.

I think I am beginning to get it. So much has come and gone, and yet three things endure forever: faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love. The love of which I speak and to which I point needs not my tinkering or explanation. Hear now my poem:

"God is love."

Prayer

Gracious God, thank you for the poem of life, and the love with which to read it.

About the Author
Dwight Lee Wolter is the author of Forgiving Our Parents, Freedom Through Forgiving (a workbook), and Forgiving Our Grownup Children. He is pastor of the Congregational Church of Patchogue on Long Island, New York.
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