A True Story of Love

Maya's Story

By Network Minister
M. Tichi

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It wasn’t too long, after Maya began talking, that her parents knew they had a curious child on their hands. Maya was more inquisitive than any young girl her parents ever knew. She constantly annoyed her parents with an endless barrage of questions about everything that stirred her curiosity. What makes the sun warm? What kind of tree is that? Why are some people nice, while others are not? How do I spell my name? In the beginning, in times of patience, her mother would answer her as best that she could, but later, when Maya’s mother’s patience was thin, she would answer with an exasperated voice, “I really don’t know, Maya.”
 
She asked so many questions that her mother decided the best way to satisfy Maya’s inquisitive mind was to buy her books; and over the years, whenever they went shopping, Maya would get a new book, and would spend days absorbing it, while the other boys and girls her age were outside playing. Still the barrage of questions kept coming. It seemed to her weary mother, that all of those books only put more questions into Maya’s head. And indeed they did; she would spend her extra time, when she wasn’t reading, in thought; pondering her new found information. Maya’s parents had grown so tired of her questions, that they began responding to every question with, “I really don’t know, Maya.”
 
Soon, after being met with this now standard answer for what seemed like the hundredth time, Maya decided that the best way to have her questions answered was to find the answers for her self. So one day, while flipping through the family Encyclopedias, she came across an article on God.
 
‘God?’ Maya thought, ‘Who is God?’ Is God a person? Where does He live? It seemed that God was a very mysterious person.
 
Maya continued to wonder about God. She remembered that her Sunday school teacher talked about God, and during church service the preacher would, too, but mostly no one really mentioned WHO HE was. She knew that HE loved us, and HE does good things for us every day. But who is God? And where did HE come from? Where is HE now? What is HIS real name?
 
Maya remembered what her parents had taught her about love. Love, they explained, is what we do for you. We take care of you, we play with you, and we buy you all of those books. How does God do those things for me, Maya wondered, when I can’t see HIM? HE doesn’t live with me like my parents do; HE doesn’t even tuck me in at night, and HE doesn’t buy me books either. “I wonder, is there is more about love that I haven’t been told?”
 
She had tried to read the Bible, but it was just too hard for her with all of those thees and thous.  She had some Bible story books on her shelf, but they didn’t really answer her questions.  It wasn’t until Maya went to stay the weekend at her grandmother house, that she noticed some pictures hanging on the sewing room walls; there were some nice pictures of gardens and scenery, portraits of family members, and one or two of her mother when she was a little girl; they looked a lot alike, she thought. Then she saw something that she had never noticed before. It was a plaque, decorated with engraved flowers and rosebuds, with an old faded black and white photo of grandma and grandpa on their wedding day; and underneath the photo she read these poetic words:


Love suffereth long, and is kind;
Love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own,
Is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth
all things.



Maya read it over and over again until she had it memorized, and when she got home, she wrote those words down; then she looked up every word in her dictionary.  From that day forth she would find herself repeating those words and phrases over and over again in her mind. “Love suffers long, and is kind…etc.” until she began to identify with the words and their message.
 
As Maya grew into adolescence, she would weigh the love that was shown to her against her new understanding of love. If she saw that her mother was becoming impatient with her questions, she would say to herself, “Love suffers long,” means “patient”. If she saw people being unkind to others, she would say to herself, “and is kind.” When she discovered that Santa Claus wasn’t real, she said, “but rejoices in the truth.” This was Maya’s “Love Standard”, and she soon realized that there was no one she knew that could ever meet that standard, and she became a very unhappy young woman.
 
Even so, as a curious young adult, Maya thrived in college, and continued to read every book she could get her hands on, from Dante’s Inferno, to an assortment of romance novels, and even “How To” manuals on topics such as basic automobile mechanics, to self-help books on meditation. Maya would boast to her friends that there was nothing she couldn’t do, as long as she had a book about it. However, she would drift back to the romance novels; stories of enduring love, and even conquering death; And she would  measure them according to “Her Love Standard.” But she would always prepare herself in advance for disappointment by telling herself, it was just fiction.
 
When she had finally felt that she had read every significant book that she could find, she then bought a Bible and forced herself to sit down and read it. The language style wasn’t easy to decipher. Even after reading other books that used the same Old English language, she still had many difficulties, but despite not being able to really understand most of it, she kept on reading it until she had gone completely through from Genesis to Revelations. Maya now had many questions, but didn’t feel that she knew anyone who could answer them. Even so, she kept some of the things that she had read close to her heart, and went on with her life.
 
At some point in time Maya began to look for a new church, one that, at least, adhered to the 10 Commandments. She explored various types of churches and religions, but soon discovered that there wasn’t one single church that met the bare minimum of both love and the basic commandments. As it was with trying to find true love, she felt that there was no true church, either. So, being crushed, because of the lack of true love in her life, and betrayed by the nonexistence of a true church, Maya began to lose hope, and like all that have little or no hope, she became depressed.
 
A few years later, after Maya’s grandmother died, she was looking through a box that was left for her, and rediscovered the plaque with those loving words on it inside. So, in fond memory of her grandmother, she took it out, dusted it off, and hung it on a wall, where she would see it every morning. Just seeing it again made her think back to the day she discovered those precious poetic words, that had given her so much hope, so she respectfully made sure it was hung straight; then, as if in a fond farewell, she reread it.


Love suffereth long, and is kind;
Love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own,
Is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth
all things.


“Hopeth all things.” Maya stopped on the word “Hope”. She took out her Bible, and looked up the word hope in the index.
 
There it was in
1 Corinthians chapter 13. She read the short chapter, over and over again.


8 Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


She soon realized that the love, she was searching for, was there the entire time, and so was the true church. How could she have missed it before? God (whose name, she learned, was YHWH) was and is true love, meeting each of the requirements and standards of love, and that HE was and is the true foundation of the “True Church”. HE had been with her all along, and suddenly, she no longer spoke as a child, understood as a child or thought as a child, and she put the childish things away. Eventually, she found a spiritual group and all that were in it, also, met the standard of love; And now with renewed hope she has found joy, love, faith, and blessings instead of sorrow. She has not only discovered “The Fountain of Righteous Love,” but she has become a part of it.
 
HALLEL YAH!!


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