by Kate Starr, Rev. Tamara Lebak
Love was born on the longest night of the year
while outside a great storm raged.
Lightning ripped its ragged sword
through the darkness,
temporarily turning night
Thunder came from everywhere
Jolting the land from the inside out
shattering the silence.
It was as though when Love slipped into the world,
the earth's heart
cracked wide open.
Life wrapped her in velvet,
humming a mother's soothing song of praise,
while Death, her father, stood vigil.
Even today, despite the weather,
Love feels at peace in nature.
Not that she is boastful or proud,
Love does believe she is an expert rock climber.
She somehow manages to take hold
in the smallest fissure,
to wedge her way into the tightest crevice
and make herself comfortable.
Her father used to take her spelunking.
Together they explored the deepest,
most remote caves.
They treasured the tomb-like quiet and pitch blackness
found nowhere else but the world's inner core.
Love works in the kitchen
of a juvenile detention center.
She brings spices from her own cabinet
to add flavor to the bland rations
the warden calls nourishment.
She also puts a single raspberry on each tray
as it passes by.
It's Love's safe and subtle way
to give each of these sad, scared
and wounded youth
a reassuring kiss.
To show them someone cares,
that they matter.
Love has been engaged many times
but has not yet married.
It's a mystery to her friends
who set her up on dates
Love is so patient and kind.
She's not easily angered, self-seeking, or rude.
She doesn't delight in evil,
but rejoices in the truth.
She always trusts, always protects, always perseveres.
But her suitors
misinterpret her unconditional attention to everyone
– men and women, young and old, friends and enemies –
as insecurity and neediness.
They fear they're not enough for her.
Or that there isn't enough of her
to be shared.
Love cannot wait to have a child of her own
but in the meantime,
she has been a surrogate mother
three times now and counting –
the first time for an infertile cousin on her mother's side,
then for a single mother,
and, most recently, for a gay couple.
To Love, there is
no greater gift she can give to heal a broken world,
no better way to pass on what she's been given.