Love doesn’t envy?

Wednesday of Holy Week Prayer. (based on 1 Cor. 13)

Love is patient.
Love is kind.
It does not envy.

Lord, this whole love thing is starting to hurt now.
Do you mean that if I envy someone else that I must have some more growing to do in the love department?
If that’s the case, I have a lot of work to do.

The pathetic part is the fact that it’s not the big and potentially worthy things that I envy.
I envy the trite, superficial things.

It’s those ‘pretty’ people that I envy.
Those people that seem to have it all but don’t seem to have to work hard to get it.
They have great jobs and clothes and hair and smiles and friends.
They eat everything in sight but never gain weight.
People are automatically drawn to them because of how confidently they carry themselves

I so envy those people.

I often compare myself to them.
When I do I feel fat and sluggish and unattractive and insecure.
I often resent the body that I’ve been given.
If only it were as perfect as those other people seem to be.

Why Lord did I get dealt this mess of a body when you gave it all to those guys?
It’s not fair!

But then I remember your son Jesus.
He apparently wasn’t all that special to look at.
In fact some scholars and even scripture texts suggest He was downright ugly.
He certainly wasn’t the blond haired blue-eyed stud we’ve made Him out to be.
He probably stank.
He didn’t own shampoo or deodorant.
What little clothes He had were rags that barely covered His private parts.
Yes I know, Jesus had private parts.

Yet people when they met Him knew He was special.
Many instantly dropped everything they had and followed Him.
Women wept when he showed up.
One woman even poured expensive perfume all over His feet and washed them with her hair.
Hard rugged men stumbled over themselves to please Him.
He knew where he was headed.
He was fully confident in His knowledge that He was your son.
He was your beloved.

In my mind I too know that I am your beloved son.
I know you love me.
You love ALL of me.
You don’t compare me to any of your other children.
You don’t expect me to measure up to anyone else.

I just wish I believed it in my heart.

But I often can’t get to that place.

Maybe this is what you’re getting at when you say that love does not envy.
You want to remind us that love involves loving ourselves too.
True love involves acknowledging our own beloved-ness.

Lord, in this Holy week, help my unbelief.

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