Words of Hope: Love’s Discipline

Shann teaches poetry at Stanford, and our family is doing the lectures and lessons together. I can’t believe how incredible this experience has been. I have been a lousy student. I am not timely on my lessons, and Shann must remind me every time. I am late on my poem or my workshop, or my reflection on the reading. I do finally get to the work at about ten o’clock at night because so many things crowd the day. I am sleepy and don’t want to participate. Then when I do, the world catches on fire—I get to read a poem of my daughter’s and tell her what I love about it.

What is more alive and meaningful than doing this? This is art and love at the deepest core. It’s amazing how I get lazy at love and meaningful interaction. Art and love are work. It’s easy to take 15 minutes doom scrolling or to look at dumb TikTok’s instead of reading a poem and engaging. Shann is devoted to love at the highest level of meaning because of my Dad’s influence in his life. Shann searched for love and finally found its true expression in the relational interactions of our family. There is a discipline to love that I like to shirk—the decision to be intentional, purposeful, or say something meaningful. Just like dreading a workout, I am thankful after I do it. The same is true for love and art—it’s always the right way to live.

“No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God remains in us and His love is made perfect in us.” – I John 4:12