If you came here for a post by Anna, that’s exactly what you’re going to get. Except not a post from this Anna. Nope. And here’s why: Today is this blog’s first-ever guest post! And it’s written by one of my closest friends, who just-so-happens to be named Anna, too. We refer to each other as “Other Anna” when talking to other people or even between ourselves. In case you haven’t had your coffee yet, that’s her on the right in that photo over there. And I’m on the left. But you should know that.
I could go into an incredibly fascinating story about how our friendship formed, but then we’d be here awhile, because it really is a good story. For now, though, I’ll say this: Anna Irish and I have many things in common, including our love for writing and reading. In fact, I call her my writing buddy, and she’s in the process of critiquing my novel. We both love Jesus, we’re both English majors, we both write in the same genre (YA Christian fiction aimed at teen girls), and we have some similar passions.
It’s impossible for me to read the following post without hearing her voice. And that’s because it’s authentic. I often tell her she’s good at writing quippy dialogue in her stories, but I think she’s pretty consistent with it here, too. It’s definitely a fun, yet thought-provoking read.
One more thing before I stop rambling: Other Anna recently launched her own blog, so go check it out when you’re finished here! It’s called A Red Umbrella.
P.S. Isn’t her little bio at the end great? I’m working on one for myself, but I’m having a hard time not including the word “bacon.”
In His Love,
Anna Schaeffer (“Schaeffer” added for clarification. Things can get confusing when there’s more than one Anna involved)
“The Love of a Baby” by Anna Irish
We all know those couples. You know… the ones that walk each other to every, SINGLE class. And you just want to be like, “Bro, this isn’t the seventeenth century. We don’t live in Iraq. She doesn’t need an escort.” But since you’re having the conversation in your head, it doesn’t really affect them, so there they stand in the hall, fingers laced, eyes locked, and foreheads touching, and you really want to scream “children, cover your eyes!”
It’s like that moment when you see an unwashed person in Walmart, and it’s just so heinous so can’t look away. Or maybe you believe that PDA is like a virus. So you force to yourself to look and just keep up the hope that one day you will have been exposed so much that you’ll acquire immunity.
But the truth is that, despite all your revulsion and disgust, you always feel a little sorry for them, because deep down, you know that that isn’t love.
Our culture has really polluted the purity of the concept of love. Because media is constantly feeding us all these distorted images of what love is supposed to look like, we try to pattern our own lives after them but then fall short when it comes the happy ending. Please note that I am not hating on media because I do love me some Downton Abbey. I’m merely suggesting that you give some thought to the rationale behind the secular ideas that you allow to enter your heart, soul, and mind.
In case you’re not a romantic and I’ve lost you at the whole love thing, I’m not just talking about the goo-goo-eyed variety here. Love encompasses many things. It includes love of money, power, recognition, and achievement… basically anything you can think of. Ahhhemmmm, I know I just gathered a few stragglers there.
I could spend hours talking about what love isn’t, and I often do—I think one of my friends just “amened”—but I think I would rather talk about what love is.
Love is sending your perfect Son as a baby to die for the sins of others.
I thought about copy-and-pasting 1 Corinthians 13 at this point, but I know, ain’t nobody got time to read that, so I’ll just give you the highlights:
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
This Christmas, I challenge you not to compare love to that holiday movie in the Hallmark Channel, but to the story found in Luke chapter two. Is the love that you’re putting your hope in this holiday season imperfect, temporary, and unfulfilling, or is it the kind that “never fails, never gives up, and never runs out”? There is nothing distorted about the love that sends a perfect child into a broken world… to die for the iniquities of you and me.
For further sources on the real meaning of love, I have several suggestions.
1) They say the Bible’s always a good place to start, so you should check out all of 1 Corinthians 13. If you think reading this post was a waste of your ten minutes, I apologize and guarantee that this won’t be! And looky, I’ve even included a handy-dandy link for you, so there is no excuse (and, no, “I’ve read it before” isn’t a good one)! Click here for 1 Corinthians 13.
2) Passion and Purity, by Elizabeth Elliot, is the phenomenal love story of her and her husband, Jim (aka the well-known missionary killed by natives in Ecuador). Trust me, don’t dismiss it because it was written a long time ago; the things she says are just as relevant today as they were fifty-odd years ago. Below is another link (I know, so nice of me) to purchase it on Amazon. You can get used copy for around a dollar, and that’s a bargain for a completely life-changing book. Click here to check it out!
3) Oh, look! It’s another linky-poo! If you don’t watch the Blimey Cow channel on YouTube, you might want to start. They offer funny, yet practical, advice on life choices, and this past week’s life choice was… LOVE! It’s like we totes coordinated! Click here to watch it.
Anna Irish is a college student who divides her time equally between homework, eating, and sleeping.When she’s not participating in one of those invigorating activities, she jots down thoughts and story ideas for when she graduates with her degree in English Literature and actually has a life again.
Visit her at her blog:A Red Umbrella