Note to Self: You don’t know what love is.
I have recently come to the conclusion that a great deal of people who confidently proclaim to love, in fact, have no idea what they are talking about. Yet another mind boggling observation presented by yours truly. No, seriously. Am I bitter? Just a little salty. For I, like many, have tasted the certain bitterness of life and find myself in the uncomfortable and hesitant process of forgiveness. Yes, how easy it is to preach forgiveness when you are not the one being urged to do so–even more so when you stand to be the one forgiven. Silly, simple, people. I bite my thumb at you.
Look, here’s the deal, I would much prefer someone to never utter the words, “I love you”, but rather, in my relationship with them know this to be irrevocably true. Don’t be so narrow minded–I am not just referring to romantic love. Most of us, at some point, will be fortunate enough as to experience a kind of personal fulfillment and satisfaction that we might call love. For some, this might not extend beyond the generous and loving act of their own mothers suckling them and changing their soiled swaddling cloths. Where do you think we got the saying: He has the face only a mother could love? Yes, sad to think about, but nonetheless true. And then there are some truly tragic characters that might not ever experience the joy of being loved. Certainly the cruelties of this world can offer us many examples of how this might happen: the abused child who who becomes socially awkward and unapproachable, the eccentric who inadervently pushes people away through the demonstration of bizzare and frightening behavior, the highly unlikely case of an individual who magically appeared out of nowhere to live on a deserted island lacking the necessary exposure to other humans required to cultivate love, and of course those of us who are so demented and damaged that we choose to hate ourselves ultimately crippling our abilities to receive love and sabatoging every free offer of it. Indeed, we are our own worst enemies at times. And certainly all of us have at least one or two unlovable characteristics.
But even amidst all the undesirable and seemingly non-love fostering scenarios, I am forced to recognize that love, in its truest and purest sense, is capable of transcending even the stubbornest of love deterrents. So I ask you, yea you, who among us really knows how to love? I’ll be the first to admit that it’s definitely not me. In a moment of sheer honesty, I can attest that there are even times when I could swear my child is Linda Blair reincarnated and I fail miserably to muster any semblance of love for him. Report me to the CPA if you must, but if you have children and still have the bigotrous balls to do so , you can promptly remove the log from your eye–after you stop yelling at your kids of course.
Some would argue that the ability to feed, clothe, and ensure the maintenance of all your child’s appendages could be considered love. You’ve heard it said, “He’s my child, of course I love him, I delivered him out of my own womb (other details omitted)”. Even rats excrete younglings from their womb and rear them in their own verminous way. Does this act alone constitute love? Don’t misunderstand me, I would never devalue the kind of love most mothers have for their children. I’m not saying…I’m just saying. In deepest parts of my being however, I only know that even after having these acts of care demonstrated to me, and much more, there is still a deep sense of dissatisfaction when trying to reconcile my personal need for love.
Some of you reading this, I know, are on the edge of your seat, crawling out of your skin with the anticipation of providing me with the solution to my dilemma. Don’t bother. I already know what you are going to say. And here it is…wait for it…
Monica, the only love that truly satisfies is the love of our Heavenly Father. It is His love alone that will complete you. -Any Given Christian Soldier
Pardon me as I vomit in my mouth a little due to the force feeding of poor tasting Christianese flavoring salt. Ooooooooh no…here we go…now we’re all up in arms over my sacrilegious blogging. On the contrary, the above statement really is both the simplest and most complex truth. However, I feel that it is far too frequently recited and offered as the metaphoric Band-Aid to those candid enough to admit their own love dilemas. So don’t get your adult diaper in a knot. I agree, it’s true. But now let me tell you why I am so sick of hearing this Christian rhetoric. . .
Logically speaking, anyone who had the capacity to fully and completely receive the love of the Father, would then be required in that same capacity to demonstrate it. Sorry, but the last time I checked I haven’t really scene too many people running around loving exactly like God. I’ve seen many Godly people, demonstrating isolated acts of kindness in love, but as a whole I would conclude that no one comes close to demonstrating the the complete love of God. This is why I am skeptical when I hear people say, “I am complete in God”. Dont lie. You totally aren’t. If you were complete in God you would then have the capacity to act fully and completely in the way God demands of us. It would be the automatic reaction to this alleged completeness. Show me the person. I have plenty of time.
Am I saying that the aspiration to do so is futile? Idk, read Ecclesiates and then tell me what you think. Depending on how you interpret it that day, you might concluded that yes, it is a big waste of time to even try. Or you could deduce that your futile attempts are only futile if lacking the necessary relationship and love with God required to give meaning to anything.
Does it sound like I have completed refuted any idea of humanly love as we know it? Perhaps. But let me assure you the majority of the time my glass is half full. Sometimes there are only a few drops. But the point is, there is always something in the glass. Thankfully, and with a big sigh of relief, I do believe in love. Do I think that we serve an ‘all or nothing’ God? Is that to say that if our love is not identical to the love that God asks of us, is it stale? Dead even? No, I don’t think so. I think the ‘all or nothing’ applies to only one aspect of God and that’s with regard to salvation. Because if you’re not down with Jesus, you’re pretty much just down…in hell…forever…with teeth gnashing and other less than desirable circumstances. But I think that God, who’s pretty clever, knows that we fail miserably at mirroring his image. Because of this, I think he’s fair enough to meet us right where we are and allows us to continually build upon our personal platform. With each addition to our platform we are able to launch ourselves from higher places and into greater depths of relationship with others. Which I believe are the varying degrees of love we experience within our lives.
And so, having said all that, I will say that I want to love you fully, but I know that I cannot. I can only show you a kind of love equally corresponding to the level at which my personal platform is currently developed. And when you tell me you love me, I wont believe you…completely. But I’ll have the assurance that in your own way you truly believe that you do. And in this life, that might just have to be good enough. God will be there to gladly make up the difference.