Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Loveless take on love

© 2014 Christy K Robinson

Yesterday, Sept. 15, 2014, Dr. William Loveless—Bill—passed from this life and into his Sabbath in Christ. He was born in 1928, about 10 years before I would have guessed for his birthdate, from his energy and temperament.
Click this link for an article remembering him.
Dr William Loveless, 1928-2014

I first met Pastor Loveless when he was the guest speaker for a Week of Prayer at my Christian high school in the 1970s. The denomination and affiliated Christian schools were extremely legalistic in the fifties through seventies (they wised up in the eighties), and what we had been taught was that we had to perfectly reproduce Christ’s character by keeping the Law, and that although the Lord forgave our sins when we confessed, that if we re-offended, the former sins would be added back to our record (yes, we know now that that’s a false teaching, but we didn’t know it then), so the deal was to continuously search your heart to find that sin you forgot to confess, the sin that could keep you out of heaven. 

But Dr. Loveless's sermons at the Week of Prayer were all about his friend, Jesus Christ. This friend loves us with a love that won’t let us go, who both forgives and forgets sins, and by his death has reconciled us to intimacy with God now—here on earth—and for eternity. 

When I moved back to California in the 90s, I became reacquainted with Dr. Loveless when I interviewed him for a magazine article, and met him around town several times. (It took a lot of courage to call him Bill, as he asked.) I took a master’s class in English from his wife, Dr. Edna Maye Loveless. I always had a mountain of respect for them and their intellect. Bill was doing some consulting for the company I worked for about 9-10 years ago, and when I made a comment in a committee, he jumped up, excited at what I said, and called me brilliant. I don't even remember the subject, but his comment did two things: it made me feel valued and deeply complimented (I mean, coming from him, right??), and it made the boss very angry at me because the boss hadn't thought of it or said it. In that company, I was toast after that. 

During that time, I asked Bill and Edna Maye to write devotional articles for the book I was putting together, We Shall Be Changed. The daily devotionals in February were all about love. Their articles about loving one another still make me cry.

Here are two of the four Loveless devotional articles from We Shall Be Changed. 

Will You Marry Me?

By William Loveless 
Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Ruth 1:17 NEB

My dearest one: 

When we married, I had no idea who you were nor for that matter who I was. And for some strange reason, that never seemed to matter. I have always known you love and respect me. Without much outside coaching, except for the models our parents were, we have been in unity together. 

Providence put us together, because in some ways we are opposite, but over the years it is obvious to me that we share all of the deepest convictions that make life worthwhile. I love the way you comfort me when I’m unreasonable and grumpy. I love the way you “mother hen” our daughters. My family is your family and your family is my family, quite like the oft-repeated sentiments of Ruth: “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” Ruth 1:17 NEB 

You patiently taught me how to listen by listening to me, and we have always been smooth when it comes to the management of money. Edna Maye, your warmth, charm, intellect, and clear Christian commitment have enriched me and my work more than anything else in my life. 

Even though I really didn’t know what I was doing when I saw you, truly a gorgeous vision in wedding white coming toward me that August day, I now know how much I love you. Will you marry me? 

Things I Never Expected

by Edna Maye Loveless 
I hear my lover’s voice. He comes running over the mountains, racing across the hills to me. . . . My lover speaks to me. Song of Songs 2:8-10 TEV

Dear love of my life, 

Happy surprises have added to the “I do’s”: 

Pressing my hand gently in place on your knee before maneuvering a driving function, you seem to say, “Don’t go; stay here with me.”

Your enthusiasm for shopping with me has destroyed all preconceptions about male indifference. Whether we’re seeking a quart of milk, a gallon of paint, a dress for me, some shoes for you, or a new computer, you consistently initiate dual excursions—times for renewal and bonding.

After completing a doctorate, you said it was my turn. Later, when my research project didn’t jell and I wanted to quit; you quietly responded, “You’ll always be sorry you didn’t finish. Now I’m taking you to the library to work on a new research design.” You spurred me on.

I had no idea we’d share so many conversations about what we have been reading or contented periods of quietness as we pursued reading and writing tasks.

Two people in love on their wedding day expect never to argue over money. Today, wiser and more in tune with “life,” I’m surprised those expectations about no money hassles came true. Generous and prudent—you’re an asset on any budget.

When we embarked on the unknown path of parenthood, you supplied strengths to achieve balance—more playful, more energetic, more emphatic. The girls knew where to turn when they needed your specialties.

At home, it’s a duet when we make the bed, when we entertain guests. Chalking up vast vacuuming hours, you also amaze me with your cheery whistling while mopping the floor or washing the dishes. It’s the sound of my love; I cherish it.

I’m a woman in love, who joins the love song: I hear my lover’s voice. He comes running over the mountains, racing across the hills to me. . . . My lover speaks to me. Song of Songs 2:8-10 TEV


We Shall Be Changed was published in 2010, and is now officially out of print, but you can buy new or almost-new copies of it on Amazon. I have received no royalties from sales, but I’m proud of the five-star reviews and hundreds of compliments on it.

1 comment:

  1. Beauitiful.....I cherish a marriage like that.


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