Monday, February 29, 2016

What. Love. Is.

My posts this week have been short because it's been a relatively uneventful week. Not that much to talk about, and that's a good thing. It's nice when things slow down for a few days. The only problem is that when not much is going on, it's hard to come up with things to write about! But starting tomorrow, things will get busier.

Tomorrow, at noon, I'm coaching some kids on stage presence. Yes, you heard me right. I have a friend who runs a "School Of Rock" type school for kids, teaching them how to play rock instruments, learn rock songs, and how to be in a band. I volunteered to help coach them on stage presence. They have a gig at the Buffalo Rose in Golden, CO at noon tomorrow. Tickets are cheap, so come on out! I worked with them at their rehearsal on Monday, and I'm really looking forward to their gig tomorrow. I've recorded with kids for many years, and I'm a long time choir director, so I do enjoy mentoring and coaching. That will be fun, and I hope useful to the kids.

My only hope is that maybe one or two of them will remember one simple thing I said later on, and use it in their performing career, if they have one. Simple stuff like make eye contact with your audience. Dress for the stage. If someone is soloing, everyone look at the soloist. Don't stare off into space. Don't just walk on stage, make an entrance. Believe you belong up there. Own it. Have fun. Look like you want to be there. And oh yeah, know your music cold so you can even think about stuff like that.

If you've read my posts this past week, you know that I've been preoccupied with trying to take in how much I am loved. It's a difficult thing to process. But I'm starting to get it. I've believed for many years that love and hate are what we do, not how we feel. We can say we love someone, and genuinely feel affection for them, but if we don't treat them in a loving way, do we really love them?

I know we can't rely on emotion, but lately, emotion is what I've been living on. So while I've preached that emotions come and go, but true love shows in our actions, right now I can't discount the importance of that emotion. In sports, emotion can mean the difference between winning and losing. I've joked about how emotional I am these days, saying it's the Lupron talking, but the feeling of loving and being loved has sustained me through this process as much as the material support has.

Since my diagnosis, I find that the emotional part of my love for all of my family and friends is right at the forefront. Before I knew I had cancer, my love for you was real, but I might not have felt it as intensely as I do now. The love was always there, but now I feel it much more. And the feeling makes me want to do more. So it's not one or the other. The feeling feeds the actions. But when we act even when we don't feel it, that's real love.

You all are teaching me about love through your actions. As Forrest Gump said to his true love, Jenny, I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is. Or as he put it, What. Love. Is.

In church last Sunday, the preacher preached on love. What it is, and what it isn't. After the service, we were talking with some friends, and I said, "I'll tell you what love is. It's moving onto one level of your house for four months for your dog! That's love!" The feeling of love that I feel for my dog is indescribable. But the proof of my love for her is what I'm willing to do for her. That's What. Love. Is.

I have not mentioned these people by name before, but I must do so now. While I was worship leader at Hope Fellowship, Bill and Nanci Suro attended there. They founded, own and run Maxfund, a no-kill animal hospital and shelter in the Denver area. We've gotten two cats from them over the years. In 2014, Nanci asked me to write and produce a commercial jingle for them, which I did. It aired on Channel 2 and Channel 31 in Denver last year. Because of our financial hardship, and their friendship, they are providing all of our veterinary care for free, including Sookie's surgery. Bill is a vet, and he personally examined each of our pets. He decided that our older dog Ziggy needs to be on prescription food for the rest of his life. If you've ever had a dog on prescription food, you know how expensive it is. They're also supplying that for us. They've also supplied us with the means to treat certain things at home so I don't have to drive down there three times a week anymore. All of this is an unbelievable blessing, given purely out of love. That's What. Love. Is. We'll never be able to thank them enough.

I'm going to an Avalanche game tonight with my friend, Paul Kelley. He has season tickets in the lower bowl. Row 8. He's taken me to games before, but the last time he invited me, I felt like I couldn't go because I would be too cold. So do you know what he did? He took me to REI, a popular outdoor store here for hikers, campers, and mountain climbers. He bought me the most expensive and comfortable pair of long underwear I've ever had. I want to wear them 24/7, and I almost do. He bought them for me so I could go to a hockey game with him, which he also pays for. That's What. Love. Is.

Your computer or phone tells you I've posted an update to my CaringBridge journal, so you click on the link and read what I have to say. Because you love me. Because you want to know what's going on. Because you care. That's What. Love. Is.

Thanks for your prayers, and as always, for being here! You are teaching me about love. I may not be a smart man, but I know What. Love. Is.

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