Thursday, March 03, 2011

Love

It is a beautiful thing to love someone well. To love them fiercely is even better. I don't think that scripture calls us to love everyone ferociously. It would be too exhausting and consuming. And really, I think it would be unnecessary. If you are loved by one person with a depth and openness that goes to the very marrow of your bones, you're blessed.

I don't think everyone has the ability to love this way. At least that's what I hear. But for those of us who do, we must guard our hearts. To love someone this way, to always be for them and never against them, to protect them and open your heart to pour yourself out for them, leaves you open to the deepest kind of heartbreak.

I think mothers love their children this way. I think husbands love their wives this way, and vice versa. I think it is not felt always or even consistently practiced, but when it is poured out? It's a fire that soothes as well as challenges. It brings one spirit in contact with another spirit in a way that allows for the Holy Spirit to pour back and forth between them.

This kind of love isn't sexual or shallow or friendly. It is deep. Bone deep. And it is more powerful than anything we have the privilege to experience on this earth. It can give someone the strength to continue on through unspeakable pain. It can give someone the courage to confess sins too deep to utter lightly. It can open someone's heart and lift them up above their temporal circumstances and look into a reality much higher.

It is breathtaking in its total lack of self-concern. It is the way the Father loves his children. We are not strong enough to understand, to truly grasp, the breadth and length and height and depth. It surpasses our understanding.

But there are moments, those short yet giant moments, when we are able to love someone else this way. We cannot sustain it. Not like God. But there are those times when we open ourselves wide and pour love into someone's heart and they feel it and they know it and they are lifted up.