It has taken me quite a while to get here this week, but here I am. With a weight on my heart that I don’t think I can put into words. But I’m going to try my best.
How do we love?
My pastor posed a version of this question to us last night at our prayer meeting. Those around me gave wonderful answers to that question. Praying, serving, selflessness, proclaiming the truth.
I did 31 Days of Waiting as my challenge in October. It spurred me on to pursue more and more my love of writing. Every time I read a good story or listen to a good sermon or just experience someone putting words together to proclaim beauty and mystery and love, it strikes at the heart of a passion that God has given to me. A passion to see underneath the surface. A passion to find answers and to empathize with those around me.
I realized something as I finished reading a very well written novel this morning.
I want to understand because I want to love. I am beginning to see how truth can be held in tension with humanity’s impulse to seek. To seek fulfillment and happiness and joy. To satisfy longings. How this search can be so warped and wrapped in emotions, physicality, passion, desire. How this search can be so complicated and confusing with logic, rationality, knowledge, and experience. How deeply mired we can be in what we think…what we feel…what we know…what we want…what we believe.
And how, in the midst of all of that mess, we just want answers. We want all of what is around us to make some kind of sense. To fit into a picture that we know we cannot completely see.
And how, because of all of this mess, God gave us the answers. He knew what we would want because He made us to want it. He knew how we would feel because He made us to feel it. He knew that we would be confused, scared, impulsive and self-consumed. Because we tried to take control of His design. Because we committed high treason against the one true King. Because in our finite-selves we tried to gain infinite-power.
In our today, the answer to the question “how do we love?” is so rife with political correctness, so full of “whose side are you on”, so basely based on “who are you, how do you feel, what do you want?” It is such a mess because we think it is all about us. We think the answer to the question is about US!
Absurd. God makes it plain, transparent…simple. We love because He first loved us. We love because He shows us how to love.
Real love. The kind that fulfills, brings happiness, guarantees eternal joy. He came to us…died for us…rose for us…and lives for us…so that we don’t have to live in that mess. So that we can learn to show love.
He is the answer to the question.
Jesus is the answer to the question.