The Apostle Paul writes that divine love “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:7 NIV). Love always hopes.
We want God to relate to us by giving us the benefit of the doubt, hopefully accepting our pledge to “do better the next time.” Jesus manifested that love as He healed and restored broken relationships.
The love we are to express is hopeful, too, because it is grounded in God. Love does not have to speculate about the future because it possesses the future. Amid evil circumstances, it can afford to wait with hope, because it waits in the promise “lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:10). When love is disappointed, it keeps hoping and waiting (Rom. 5:5).
PINK WILD BEAN Strophostyles umbellata
Pink wild bean is a vine that likes sandy patches in fields, on low roadsides, and partially shaded stream banks. In midsummer its flower rises on a separate branch at the leaf axil, as sketched. The flowers have five petals that are light pink on the outer lobes but deep pink in the inner structure. The blooms measure about 1/2 inch across with four to six at the end of each stalk that rises above the leaves.
The lance-shaped leaves appear in triplets and may mature to be 4 inches long once the blooms are fertilized and the “bean” forms.
During Colonial days, settlers made a concoction out of the beans to treat fever and skin rashes. The beans are not poisonous but are so bland and tiny that only the most desperately hungry person would eat them. (Klimas and Cunningham)
Robert Louis Stevenson once said, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap . . . but by the seeds you plant.” May we always sow seeds of hope by loving our neighbor as we love ourselves.