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Love (by Roy Croft)

I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.
I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.
I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;

I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After all.


There is a passage in Philippians that says, to “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable… to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”  Practical advice on a wonderful spiritual principle to change our life by changing our minds.  But as I reflect on this poem, along with the passage it speaks to me about the possibility of changing our relationships by changing the way we look at the other.  Perhaps looking for all the good in them etc, actually does more to bring out the good and even help them to believe that they are good than anything else we could do.  To believe it for them, even when they don’t believe it themselves.  A powerful way to love another, even at their worst, knowing that at their core, they are a prince or princess, not a dragon, longing for love.

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”
– RAINER MARIA RILKE