Saturday, June 9, 2012

Extraordinary Love

If love is contingent on perfection, on having no fear, anxiety, or worry, on never doubting and never expressing such emotions, it is not strong enough to handle the tumultuous currents of life. If love cannot survive the obstacles in relationships, cannot strive against the scars and demons instilled by life’s traumas, then it has no hope to confront the harder trails inherent in a world of brokenness. If love has no sway against the temptations of pleasure, dissipation, and instant gratification, it has no chance of survival in a world of darkness triumphant.

If love is dependent upon the strength of the human will, it is a hopeless case. Humans will always give up, lose hope, change their minds. We are unreliable creatures at best. A love dependent on human emotion will be as changing and unstable as the sea, pushed here and back through the gravitational pull of sentiment. Such a love would be focused on our survival instincts, on getting out of the relationship only what we need, and offering only in return what we think we can spare or what we think the other person deserves.

It is with great relief, then, that we know what love is. Love comes from God, and is God. It is his divine intervention in our life, an ever-flowing fountain which pours into and out of us to those around us. We need never depend on ourselves for the endurance of such emotion because Love is stronger than emotion. It is action. It is a commitment to a way of life, rather than a commitment to a biological state of being induced by chemicals. And so we stand relieved of the burden of creating within ourselves a perfection which is contrary to our nature.  We are given perfection from the only perfect one, and only through Him are made perfect, and his love dwells within us.

True Love is contingent upon our connection with Him, our source and our strength. His Love is strong enough to confront the tumultuous currents of life, and say “Be Still.” His Love faces the obstacles in relationships, and the demons within the human psyche, and wades through all the pain to touch the core within, bringing light to the center. His Love sees the temptations of the broken world and stands firm, because it knows the greater good beyond. His Love cradles us in our weakness, bolsters us in our strength, shares with us in our sorrows, and celebrates with us in our triumphs. His Love connects us to one another and to himself, covering over the multitude of our wrongs. And so in this triangle--man, woman, and God--we are created once again in his image, a triumvirate of perfect Love. 

1st Corinthians 13:

If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.

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