I have wondered whether or not Love allows you to pencil in your answer. Doesn’t it demand all or nothing? Its dynamic nature plays in all the colours of the Universe, and yet its devotion would seem to be written clearly in black and white. Nothing more, nothing less. No fancy words, no if’s or but’s. Just plain, wholesome, honest, unbending love.
But at the same time as demanding everything, it also offers everything, showing no disappointment when we fail. On the contrary, for disappointment is a laming, disempowering and discouraging emotion. And love only seeks to lift up, empower and encourage. Instead of expectation it believes. In place of punishment it teaches the lesson anew, as though it were for the very first time.
And, as Peter found, sitting by the fire and smelling roasting fish, though we carefully and hesitantly pencil in our answers in suspicious lead when we are asked to declare love, He answers in blood. He writes in absolution, despite outer failings, external events. Though we cannot give our all, He already has. And we reply to this gift in different manners. Some reject it because it makes them experience feelings of discomfort, pride, confusion, guilt. For there is no glory for ourselves in this love. And it does not make sense, and we cannot understand it.
We have not earned this kind of love. In fact, it knocks on our door after we slammed it in its face; it calls after we completely rejected it repeatedly. It does not make sense and it does not seem fair or right. But this is who our God is.
This is what he offers.
Perfectly loving imperfect lovers, all in the hope of teaching us what love really is; all in the hope of one day the feeling being remotely mutual. He hangs on. He gratefully takes our “I like you’s” and our “Today I don’t feel it’s” and replies with the same thing each day. I-LOVE-YOU.
The object of the lesson and the method of its lesson are one and the same. We cannot learn about love outside love. We cannot understand love without living it and experiencing it. That would be like trying to fly by knowing everything there is to know about flying. You can read up on it, you can understand it s dynamics, and even its science. You can talk to others who have flied and watch it in the movies..
You still can’t fly.
Even baby birds have to dive from one branch to the next and learn by DOING IT! By flying, they are learning to fly. And in the same way Love, outside relationship, does not exist. Why do you think God is a Trinity- even within himself he has relationship- he who is love personified.
He will catch us each time we dive, and while we’re still learning, he loves us despite our denials and rejections and misconceptions.