10 Things I Love – In Order

  1. God, the creator and sustainer of the universe – Father, Son and Spirit – my redeemer and Lord.
  2. My wife Kristin – the truest person & and friend I have known – whom I love ardently, fervently, more than any person on earth.
  3. My boys Nicholas & Lewis – full of love, laughter, passion & play – who have graced my life and transformed a marriage into a family.
  4. My family who raised me, and my extended family on both sides who have supported and loved me with no strings and allowed me to be myself.
  5. The church – both those of my past and present, particular and universal – for the heritage, foundation, nurture, and new life I’ve encountered within the body of Christ.
  6. Theology – the study of all things in their relation to God – because I never feel more alive than when I’m learning something new about my first love.
  7. Music and Art – reflections of the creativity of the maker – because sometimes art opens a portal into the divine with such instinct and clarity that you cannot help but become caught up.
  8. My friends who fill my life with companionship and camaraderie, and who offer me the grace of community, respect, love and purpose teaching me about the essential connectedness of all of life.
  9. The poor who are always with me and to whom I endeavor to offer more and more of my life and resources.
  10. My enemies – most of whom I’ve never met, many whom I have – but all of whom have taught me more about myself and what is good and true and right, and who have pushed me to look for the good in all situations and people.
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  • CB

    So I have questions about this list. Why did you write this list? What prompted it? Do you think one should have such a list? If so, what purpose does it serve? Is this your list everyday? Or does it change? Is love even “orderable”? Should it be? Does this list help you to love more? Love more effectively? More honorably? Do you intend to give out differnt amounts or levels of love to different groups or people? Or does that just happen and you’re ok with that? Your list perplexes me. The fact that you have it perplexes me. And I really, really like lists. And, I’m one of your friends and am bummed out that friends are not higher up on your list! 🙂 And be nice to me when you respond b/c I’m a reluctant comment poster.

  • Hey CB, All good questions, and all things I never thought about when writing the list. I actually almost didn’t post it, but it came from a real place so I though that I would.

    I wrote it about 1am one night last week when I was up at conception abbey. I had spent about an hour in the basilica just praying and while sitting there in the dark I did some centering prayer on the word “gratitude.” These are some of the things that were brought to mind during the prayer time. After I was done I had the idea to write the list but I didn’t do it. I watched the Curtis film “Love Actually,” then I got up and wrote the list.

    I have no idea why it came out “in order,” though I thought about removing the phrase when I posted it – but it seemed like the order was an important part of the moment; as though if I’d have left that part off it would mean less on the whole. I think it could have been more accurate to say “10 Things I love in Order at This Specific Moment in Time,” but it never occurred to me until just now. You hinted at that reality when you asked if it changes…I don’t know if the order or the things on the list change that much. It occurs to me now that it might be more honest to put friends at #5 and then slide the rest down – but it was just a moment (and I’m a pretty shitty friend). I love your question about what the order implies about me and the way I view love. I confess that I most certainly give different amounts or levels of love to different groups of people, depending upon how much of my heart they have. I don’t know if that is right, but it seems unavoidable. I think that I’m OK with that, but I’m not sure.

    Is love orderable? That’s a killer question. I think love is somewhat ordered, but maybe that is just the way I view the world, you know, like I think it is better to have things ordered. It sort of mimics the Genesis commands to fill the earth and subdue it – to order it – naming things and ruling as God’s iconic representatives to the cosmos. It seems like everything enjoys a certain amount of order, depending upon where you view it from.

    I don’t know if everyone should have a list like this, but it was a helpful exercise for me in terms of actually writing down things I’m most grateful for – things which I love. I don’t think the list allows me to love more. It’s just a way that love found expression late one night, although it seems good to reflect upon things like this. It cracks me up that the list perplexes you. I just want to know your top 10.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t have a top ten. I think differently about love… and I don’t think it is orderable. Not in my mind-heart anyway. Your list makes sense to me if I think of it from the vantage point of “stuff you’re grateful for” or “things you appreciate when you take the time to think about it”. But love to me is bigger, broader, and more generous. And sometimes a little bit ugly and backwards… like in O’Connor’s “Revelation.

    I remember that you said one time, at house group I think, that it made you sad to think about being in heaven without Kristin as your wife (we were talking about how we will know each other in heaven) and that comment/sentiment perplexed me too, and I think for the same reason. I think that our human offerings of love and attempts at exercising love are lame in comparison to how it WILL be. That there is a better and more complete way to do love – to breathe it and be it – with God. Not in a “future” sense, but in a “restored” sense. I think we will recognize it. And for some reason, this is very, very separate in my mind with how I love my husband, children and other beloveds (even my own attempts to love my enemies, which I suck at).

    I guess your list surprised me in that it seemed something that you had written and thought about intentionally and lovingly. I guess you are just more honest than me, because I don’t want to admit that list. I want to be capable of more than that list. I think I should be.

    And it won’t let me log in – so I’m anonymous – the artist formerly known as cb.

  • ounbbl

    God is a thing you love? You must be kidding.