Friday, February 10, 2012

My View of Love - Guest Blogger

Emmy's Note: Today's guest blogger is one of my theatre professors from college. I first met Julie my senior year of high school when I was touring the university and I sat in on one of her classes. We clicked right away and I remember how awesome I felt when I came back as a student and she REMEMBERED ME! We're still close and I love stopping by her office and plopping down in her comfy furniture to chat, laugh, and get some great advice. You can find Julie's blog at Brain Food. Also- don't forget that you can contribute to this month's topic of "How I View Love" as well! Email your submissions to lovewokemeupthismorning [at] gmail [dot] com.

Love is a funny thing. It means something different to each person on the planet so how do I quantify it!? I cannot. But, I can reflect and point out somethings I recently learned and hopefully help you see something you may be missing.

Look at the title again…it is not my PERSPECTIVE…it is my “View.” Different words given to me by this this blog mistress (you like that?) J Perspective is utterly subjective, my own opinion. View is more objective; I can try to observe and report which is often more helpful. So, let me give you some examples of things that have helped me to understand love and view it more clearly instead of through the “glass darkly” as Paul speaks about in 1 Corinthians.

·        First and foremost, Love is about people. Yes, you love your dog, your iPad , your Sponge Bob sheets, and your mom’s meatloaf but, they cannot love in return. Real love; love that has the power to build us up or tear us down, is between people, it is relational. Loving people is what we are here for. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him, might be saved. (John 3:17) This is LOVE.
     Love (human love) is imperfect. Only God can love perfectly. That is why when you brother sins against you, you go and speak with him directly. In love, you allowing them the chance to ask your forgiveness…forgiveness that has already been granted. I cannot tell you how many times I have asked forgiveness of a particular friend and the response is always “It’s already forgiven.” That is love…the recognition of my human imperfection and the willingness to risk love anyway, knowing there can be pain and hurt.

·         Love is…patient, kind….all those 1 Corinthians 13 things! Again, we are imperfect. But the flip side of the coin comes into play here. While love is imperfect as stated above, where love exists, the asking of forgiveness becomes easy. The friend I mentioned above makes asking forgiveness as easy as asking them to pass the salt. I know when I have caused hurt as love allows us the freedom of openness with each other. That same love also demands that wounds be tended and cared for, thus apologies are made and forgiveness granted easily and with willing hearts. Because my friend tries to live all those awesome 1 Cor. 13 things…. our sinful natures are easier to forgive and the waters of this sinful life easier to navigate.

·        Love is about encounter. Dietrch Bonhoeffer, in his book Life Together, talks about Christian fellowship and community. Basically, we are in fellowship because we belong to Christ. “Whether it be a brief, single encounter or the daily fellowship of years, Christian community is only this. We belong to each other through and in Jesus Christ.”  Every day we come into contact with others who are, or should be, part of this Christian fellowship. This means that every day we have the opportunity to love. We can choose to see those moments of encounter as an opportunity or we can deny that moment. If we choose encounter, we choose to love.

·         Love is present. I have seen this first hand in the last weeks and been overwhelmed by its fullness. Love—solid, true, grounded, honest, Christ-centered love—is present, in the moment, aware. In this modern age it is easier than ever to be with people when we are apart from them; we are able to be “present” even when we are not there. Sometimes love is an email saying “I’ve been thinking about you and hoping you’re doing okay?” The other night it was a text message in the early morning hours…a prayer asking God to give peace and calm to a troubled heart and that I might know I was loved. Even in the small hours of the night when I was alone someone was praying for me and with me. Love was overwhelmingly present in that moment.

Love is hard work but it’s our job. It’s not easy. If it were easy, why would I be writing this? Human beings are complicated, selfish, sinful things…loving them, getting past our own sinful, human, selfish selves and loving another…is one of the most difficult things we are compelled to do. But we are compelled to do it anyway. It is written in our DNA…to reach out to others. But beyond being a tremendous challenge, it is our job. How many times have we been told “Love one another as God loves you?” (or some permutation of John 13:34) For me, every time there was a dispute with a sibling or a friend the question was “how would Jesus want you to handle this?” We are to love others…love, love, love….wait a minute! We forget the rest of the verse! “As I [God] love you!” In our quest to avoid egoism and selfishness we forget that GOD LOVES US! There is value in US! We are worthy of love, God’s love and human love. If God values us that much than, in response we thank and praise Him and treat ourselves as He would treat us…lovingly, carefully, in love. It is our JOB to LOVE…everyone including ourselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share with me your thoughts! They make me smile.