I visited Montrose Christian yesterday, at the suggestion of a friend who visited last week. She was excited about the topic, love, and the experience of the service. I have visited Montrose on several occasions, and find that it is absolutely the kind of place I would like to call my church home, but am hindered by two issues of varying importance. First, I have not felt the direct call to leave my current church, and second, that the commute is a bit longer than I’m ready to commit.

While the struggle continues, I can say that I believe in the mission of Montrose, and enjoy the atmosphere of spiritual connection–to others and to Christ–that I have been missing at my home church. Of course, the Word says that I will find God when I seek with my whole heart, and it would be unfair and untrue to say that I have, or have even been able to do that at my home church for a variety of reasons. Still, I enjoyed the experience at Montrose, feeling closer to relationship with God, and touched by the familiar faces whose care and concern stem from their own relationship with Christ, and who see me as sister in the Kingdom.

Pastor Ken spoke on the subject of love, and specifically, on the need for Christians to express that love. He began with the idea, one that I fully embrace, that the characteristics of love detailed in I Corinthians 13:4-7 are, in fact, behavioral characteristics, action words even. Verse 4 reads, Love is patient. Pastor Ken interprets that verse to mean People who love are patient. He spent the bulk of the message on this concept, using a variety of examples, some directed at parents and spouses, but most directed at people of all ages and life stages.

I don’t suppose I’ve ever dealt with the idea of patience at any great length, likely because I lack any real evidence of having any patience. Pastor Ken noted that patience manifests in other ways, including forgiveness. He referenced Proverbs, where patience is described as part of wisdom, and it’s that point that pricked my heart the most. After all, who among us would not choose wisdom? He said that wisdom and patience let us know when it’s time to let something go. That’s a word!

Patience is so important in the expression of true love, real love. Christ demonstrated immense patience with me, and He continues to do so.  If I take the time, as the pastor suggested, to tally up all the time that Christ has spent letting my stuff go, I will find the example of patience by which I should model my life. He has watched me fall, after I’ve struggled from His grip, and He lovingly picked me up after I was broken in pieces. And He’s done that over and over again because I failed to learn from the lessons presented before me.

So maybe that’s what this love thing is all about. Maybe just remembering who Christ is what He has done is enough to affect the behavioral changes that lead to the life changes that lead to loving wholly and purely and authentically.

One thing is certain, the time is now to start living and loving.