Mistranslated

Updated: Sep 1, 2019

Backstory: So I was looking through google images to see if I could find a picture emulating black love in a pure, Godly way for an upcoming collection of poems called Black Love(rs). The problem I was starting to see was that all of the images were of half naked or fully naked men and women in sensual positions. I scrolled and scrolled, and each page depicted the same thing. It didn't matter if I typed in “black love”, “African American love”, or “black family”. There were nude/semi-nude photos galore. It may me wonder, do people really understand what love is and what love looks like? In an attempt to convey a different view, perhaps from the norm for most of society, I wrote this:



Love is passionate, raw, nasty sex...

Most stop listening after the mention of sexuality.

If you’ve only studied romantic comedies,

Then your love only extends as far as your hands reach,

Because, for you, physical touch is love...

But, ladies and gentlemen,

That is only one of the five love languages.

It is only one of a hundred examples.


Love is patient...

Like waiting for a spouse to grow into the mindset you came in with,

Or,

Listening to them rant once again

About a situation they have yet to move from

In order to get to a more peaceful place.


Love... spends quality time...

When it’s hot; when it’s cold.

When it’s loud; when it’s quiet.

When you can’t speak because if you do,

One of you will rage.

Or,

When they’re in the room,

And you still feel all alone.


Love... is kind...

Not because it has to be,

But because it wants to be.

Not because it wants something,

But because that’s all it knows how to be.


Love... speaks words of affirmation.

You’re amazing. You’re beautiful.

I hate you, but in a good way.

Like rain on a sad day,

That turns into feelings expressed,

Tears shed,

Bodies held,

And foreplay.

Better yet... how about a love letter when you’ve been away?

Or a poem on your happiest day?

Or just a moment, in all of our busyness,

Where you say, “You’re doing a great job, babe.”


After all...

Love does not envy...

It lets her be the breadwinner.

It lets him be the better parent.

It does not want what others have.

It does not attempt to walk others’ paths.

It wakes everyday with thanksgiving in its heart.

It wakes everyday with your happiness in its thoughts.


Love does not boast...

It submits to the authority of God,

And through the authority of God, to the man of the house.

It takes no joy in being the head of anything,

Nor flaunts its power in a place God allowed it to be.

It does not care if men are stronger or more logical.

It does not care if women are smarter,

Or more organized, empathetic, faithful,

Loving, understanding, forgiving, hardworking,

Creative, resilient, beautiful,

Valuable, lovable, and awesome.


Love is not proud,

As some of you were when it declared you submit...

It feels no need to remove its peace

In order to prove its worth.

It does not take God’s gifts as accolades.

It does not need the throne,

Nor does it need the slave.

It’s never, “How can I be heard?”

But rather, “How can I serve?”


Love provides acts of service,

Like handling chores they thought they would have to do,

Or cooking their favorite foods.

It’s washing their body after you’ve decided to forgive them,

Or going with them when they run errands.

It’s a massage after a long day’s work.

It’s a listening ear for when they’re frustrated or hurt.


Love... does not dishonor...

Like remaining faithful when you’re separated or angry,

Or silencing the gossip when your family starts slandering.

It does not abandon the “title” in the face of beauty,

Nor jump at every opportunity without first consulting.


Love… is not self-seeking.

It does not just want them to tag along in its life,

But wants to walk along their path as well.

It does not buy what it wants and hopes others will enjoy it too.

It does not rape the wife because sex was withheld,

Nor drug the husband so an erection can be held.

It does not come to the table to receive,

But only comes to the table to give.


Love… can be eros.

The butterflies and heart beats;

The warm sheets and cold feet.

The surprising moments where you taste each other’s lips.

Their breath you inhale with morning’s kiss.

Love-making and all its positions.

Are you still listening?


Love is not easily angered…

It counts to two hundred and ten,

Realizes where they are is not where they began,

Turns back from the rage and hate,

And says, “Babe, I’m sorry. I love you.”

It does not need the last word.

It does not take frustrations out on its family.

It does not drink and beat.

It does not abuse.

But remains calm and collect,

And remembers where it left its love at,

And returns to it to pick it up and try again.


Love… keeps no record of wrongdoings…

It makes the relationship teamwork, not competition.

No I-told-you-so’s; no reminders of repeated offenses.

It does not nag over backsliding,

Nor does it sic God on you.


Love… does not delight in evil…

It does not cheat back to get even.

It does not kill to avoid a beating.

It does not encourage what will destroy.

It will not turn you against God.


Love… rejoices truth...

The truth is: God is love.

And as with all things, humans messed it up.

Yet, He does not define you by your sin, but by God’s words:

“You have received a spirit of adoption.

When we cry, “Abba! Father!”

It is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit

That we are children of God...”


Love… is storge…

We, are children of God.

We, are coheirs with Christ.

We, are destined to be glorified.

We… are family.


Why else do you think love protects?

We belong to God.

That’s why love doesn’t just protect you from the active shooter,

But also the wicked politician, the false prophet,

The sex-crazed boy or girlfriend,

The abusive relationship.

But most of all, from its own inclination to sin.


Love… trusts…

As Christ Jesus did when He bore all sin,

And said, “It is finished.”

He trusted humanity with the knowledge of this.

Trusted in us to believe Jesus would return for us.


Love… is phileo…

A bond, an oath, a brotherhood.

Where one does not just give their life in word,

Nor is it given in the extremities of life.

But one’s life is given daily for the benefit of the other.


Love… hopes...

Like flowers on the first date,

House keys to your personal space,

Or diamonds before the wedding day.


Love… perseveres...

It won’t give up on you because you’re not doing what it wants.

It won’t flee because it doesn’t know what to do.

It digs in, adjusts, and finds the solution

Hidden by time or perception.


Love… is like agape…

A continuing sacrifice.

A daily submittal of one’s self,

Removing all doubt of your worth

As it sacrifices everything to uplift you.

Love… never fails...

Because it can’t afford to.

Whether for kids, for you, or for those watching.

It clings to you like a heart clings to purpose,

Wanting to be useful

And needing to be held throughout a lifetime.


Ladies and gentlemen...

Love isn’t spent mostly in a bed.

Love isn’t about sex and stacking bread.

All will grow too old to participate.

Most will work all their lives and retire too late.

Love isn’t about what you do when you’re naked.

Love is about who you’ll take with you as you make it.

Just as God hung on the cross, shaken.

He looked to the sky and said, “It is finished.”

And there, love bore the death of all...

So we could live beyond when the heart stops.

God. Is. Love.

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