The Love That Takes No Shortcuts

/The Love That Takes No Shortcuts

The Love That Takes No Shortcuts

There are no shortcuts in life,

No re-routes around the mess,

No detours that avoid the belt beatings of a broken world

That lash on the small of your back,

Leaving scars in the shape of sacrifice,

The proof that you really lived.

There are no five easy steps to become the person

You dream one day you’ll be,

No quick formula to follow

That makes you the person

You’ve always wanted to become.

The other day I sat down with a woman,

The kind I hope one day I’ll be.

I listened to her speak in an octave blended with

The rarest humility and an unbridled passion

When she spoke about the ones she’s loved,

How she’s loved them.

She told me that ever since God took them home,

She’s struggled to find where she belongs.

Then I watched her eyes light and lift

When she told me she feels like a child again

When she gives herself over to learning

With a bunch of college students.

I’m convinced she’s held up by wings

That are only given to the ones

That swell with laughter and with hope

After they’ve sat in the cruelty of absence.

I realize that she’s only known

The worth of sacrifice

And the potency of loving whole-heartedly

Because she’s known the worst of grief.

From her, I learned

That when you leave your soul’s fingerprint

On each life around you,

There’s no easy way to do it well.

Instead, when you leave your soul’s fingerprint

On each life around you,

The only way to do it well

Is to drench yourself in the pool of their inked beauty

Of past grief and precious dreams and present anguish and childhood memories

And in the more than you ever knew there was to them,

And then pressing in

Until the love that wells in your soul

Bleeds out onto them in a thousand small moments.

After all, these moments are the sum of our lives.

So the person you dream of becoming?

The person I’ve always wanted to become?

Maybe it starts with giving our full attention to a five-year-old,

And asking her what the best part of her day was.

Maybe it starts with holding our tongue

Or putting our phones down

Or setting aside a few minutes to phone a random friend

Or throwing off the senseless weight

Of a grudge,

Or of guilt

Or prizing a few moments of silence in our morning minutes

And asking the King of Glory:

How can I love You more today?

Because real love takes no short-cuts around the mess,

But rather, real love presses in,

In a thousand small moments.

And when we do,

We’ll reach eternity breathless.

Article Written by: Bethany Kuiken

About Bethany Kuiken

Bethany is originally from Pompton Plains, New Jersey and is currently a senior, majoring in Writing at Houghton College. She is passionate about the hope of the Gospel and sharing it through writing, especially poetry. She is a lover of stories, spontaneous adventures, and fitness. She has been published in the Deeply Rooted blog, “A Call to Praise,” and Thryve Magazine Harmony Issue, “Our Ultimate Rest.” You can find her personal blog at:

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