Las Vegas (V): And Now I Will Show You the Most Excellent Way

Late last week, in the aftermath of the terrible tragedy in Las Vegas, I asserted that the only way forward, the only thing likely to ever truly help, is love.

My declaration was a bit tepid, weighted with sadness as it is. "Love?" some part of me responded. "The earth is bathed in blood. Don't talk to me of love."

But nevertheless I sought out wisdom on the nature of love, and found it.

If your heart hurts, as mine does, may these words be a salve for you, as they have been for me.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

--1 Corinthians, chapter 13

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