There is an ice cream flavor, can’t remember the name but the base flavor is creamy vanilla and there are ribbons of caramel and dark fudge running through it. Those ribbons of flavor are thick and rich and make the vanilla special by just being in it. I think that life is like that particular ice cream flavor. We have an everyday routine of coming and going and doing and undoing that comes to be simply vanilla, nothing outstanding, smooth but bland. Then there are times that a great love will come along, we will call that the band of dark chocolate fudge, so good and so sweet but sometimes bitter it is so dark. Other flavors represent marriage, (sprinkles), or children, (bits of marshmallow), relatives, (nuts)…death which would be that bitter piece of nut that sometimes finds its way into butter pecan ice cream, I know you have found one…makes your mouth pucker and you have to spit it out! But without all the things that happen, our life, like the vanilla ice cream, would remain bland. Do you quit buying Butter Pecan because of the rancid nut you found in it? No, and it’s the same with life, you keep experiencing all of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I think it is hard to find the perfect blend in a person with whom you want to share the rest of your life.
So far, for me, Jesus Christ remains my faithful husband and, even though my eyes have roamed at times, I remain faithful to Him and He loves me…just the way I am, warts and all. We have the perfect example of how love should be that includes all the flavors and nuts and whipped cream of the sundae, it is 1 Corinthians 13 “If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first, “Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then; see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”
I have learned that I can love someone who I don’t like very much; it’s the way God loves the sinner but hates the sin! I love all flavors of ice cream but I do have favorites, just like I have favorite people and I am getting very fond of hearing from you via email! Now what? Try to love that unlovable family member and enjoy all the flavors of your life, the best flavor of all is love, love for God, our fellow-man and ourselves!