Love Anyway

To be perfectly loved does not always mean in the way we want to be loved
or think we should be loved, 
but loved the way we need it, 
to strengthen and correct and empower and inspire and to give grace where it is desired.
Perfect love loves perfectly. 
Completely, wholly, unconditionally.
It stretches, reaches, bends, and never rips, pulls back, or breaks.
This love I know has no boundaries of where it will go;
it has never said no–
to my wandering, foolish ways, perhaps–
but never does it refrain
of climbing down to my muddy, messy mire 
to share my stains.
A love that is perfect looks beyond the imperfect me–
past the hurtful, defensive words I’ve spat and sputtered, 
so that I can do the same for others.
Perfect love doesn’t hold back and wait to be reciprocated; 
it never asks for payment.
Perfect love has walked in my shoes, has seen all my scars and felt every bruise.
This love holds onto me but allows me to let go, 
to set free the unhealthy and the broken 
to find peace and joy unspoken 
in the arms of the only God who can grant it.
I do not deserve–I did not earn–perfect love.
I am not perfect;
perfection will never be a title I claim.
But love, love I can grasp.
Love has a Name.
I can be loved because it is freely given for me to give out free.
Love can be a banner I wave and a lens through which I see.
I am perfect because He loves me, 
and I love because Perfection, 
in spite of me, 
chose me.
Love never asked me to aim for perfection, 
but to aim to love perfectly, 
to love anyway.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18