Love in Many Forms

“When I was a child . . .”

“When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways.” (I Corinthians 13:11)

As I’ve told you before, sometimes when I’m using a telephoto lens to take pictures I don’t see all the details until the photo is loaded on my laptop.  We were feeding the humongous carp in this pond with food pellets when we spotted the tiny baby turtle sitting on the top of the post.  It was only when I loaded the photo on my laptop that I saw the upward turned head of the turtle with its eyes seemingly looking at me.  Immediately I thought I heard him saying, “What about me?”

Ever been that turtle?  Seems like everyone else around you is getting their bellies full or some other needs met?  Everyone else is being praised?  Everyone else is being loved?  Everyone else is being noticed?  What about me?  It’s not a very good feeling to be in that position.  In fact, it can lead to despair if a couple of things don’t happen.  So what about the turtle?

First, it’s always important for us to be looking for the turtles among us.  Everyone doesn’t learn the same.  Everyone doesn’t deal with hurt, pain, hardship, or disappointment the same.  All of us require our needs be met in different ways, and it requires the acknowledgement and patience of others to address that.  In the scripture passage above, even though the apostle Paul says he’s an adult who no longer has use of childish ways, there was once a time when the childish ways helped him live and grow.  If you look carefully at my photo you’ll see one of the food pellets we were feeding the fish right beside the baby turtle on the post.  The turtle probably won’t be able to eat that form of food.  Something else will need to be available in a form the turtle can eat.  If this were a person, someone needs to notice and someone needs to offer.  Love comes in many forms and it can take some work to find the needed one.

Second, if I’m the turtle, or find myself temporarily feeling something like the turtle, then it’s also important that I try to work for myself as well as accepting the help of others who might have noticed I’ve been left out.  If I’m the baby turtle in the photo, I need to wait for the big fish to leave and get off my stump to go looking for food I can eat.  If I’m a lonely turtle, then it’s important for me to put myself in situations where others might get to know me.  If I’m a hurting turtle, then maybe I need to find someone who can offer help before they find me.

I feel incredibly fortunate because I can’t ever remember a time in my life when I didn’t know that God knew me.  Even as a child and even through the storms of my life, I have known that God knows and loves me.  Even when God and I have had some pretty intense arguments, somehow I’ve known that God was reaching out to me in love – allowing me to argue as another way of showing me that love.  God waits to offer divine love in Jesus in whatever form we need.  It’s a necessary and sacred challenge for us to offer Christ’s love to one another in whatever form is necessary.  I pray that God will help me find and offer the form of Christ’s love when it’s needed.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,


Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church

Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit

My new book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at and

Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”

~ by revgenelson on November 5, 2014.

2 Responses to “Love in Many Forms”

  1. Such a lovely message and turtles are an amazing reference point!

  2. Greate article. Keep writing such kind of information on your blog.
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