One indicator of spiritual/emotional maturity is that more satisfaction results from understanding than in being understood. It is revealing that admiration of features (appearance, gifts, talents or performance) merely indicates an acknowledgment and appreciation of them, not a love for that person.

Facets are the authentic expression of one’s person (humor, empathy, loyalty, and temperament).

It becomes apparent that when one loves or is loved dearly and deeply, features are less critical than facets.

Features display performance, while facets, favorable or flawed, convey authentic character. Features may attract your attention to that person, but facets should be the basis for the relationship.

WhittledWord for 2/4/2015; edited 6/28/2016, 3/9/2018

The Package vs. the Person

“Death, Where is Your Sting?”

Today I noticed a Facebook post inquiry from a niece asking how long my parents had been married. I remembered and confirmed their marriage of 72 years when Mom passed in 2011, at the age of 91. Dad navigated a daunting year of loneliness and confusion, and then joined her in 2012 at the age of 96.

In revisiting the memorial bulletin I had crafted, I realized that I had composed a poem for the Mom memorial. Perhaps it will touch some of you out there as it moved me afresh a few hours ago.

When death had left its final sting,
The bells in heaven’s halls did ring.

She entered whole into His love;
Her feeble frame transformed above.

And now awaits her love below,
To mount his horse and upward go.

Oh, death your senseless sting is slight,
When from this earth we take our flight.

To dwell where time has lost its grip,
To Him we love—our final trip!

Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

1 Corinthians 15:54–58, New Living Translation

Originally posted in 2018