I’m back, and I have another fabulous post for y’all! For about the past 3 months, I’ve been wanting to make this post. And here it is, in writing, on your desktop, right from my head to my fingertips! Read, enjoy, and comment!
We are a culture OBSESSED with love. Look around: the songs we sing, the movies we watch, the prayers we pray… all ask for, beg for, love. As human beings we were made for love by our creator. St. John says “God is love” and we are made in God’s holy image and likeness! Therefore, we are the image of true Love, creatures of love, made for and love! But what is love? Before we can continue on this little mental journey, I must explain.
Lets call in our friend the dictionary. Say hello, everyone.
“Love: an intense feeling of deep affection.” Ok, got that. Love is a deep connection to someone, that goes beyond simple acquaintanceship. Love is more filling, more sweet, and more pure than simple “like.” Love entails something more, something greater, something personal. Love gives of itself for the happiness of another. Love can be a mom staying up until 3 am with her crying baby, a sister putting an extra blanket over a sibling when the need it at 11 at night, love can be making someone you care about something to eat, even when you yourself are hungry. Love is sacrifice. Love is not a warm fuzzy. Yes, love can start out that way, but real love has to endure beyond the happiness and butterflies and unicorns. Love is that old couple I saw at the mall, the husband pushing his wife in her wheelchair, her holding the bags of the day’s purchases and smiling and talking, him with a grin that could split his wrinkled face. I’m sure he didn’t want to be pushing her all that way. I’m sure she hated being in that chair. But they smiled and laughed and served one another! Love is service. I think St Paul put it best: 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. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” That is love.
Now, the world may be thirsting for love, but they can never quite find it. Our Enemy, the Devil, tries very hard to keep us humans away from love. He gives us the idea that we are unworthy of it, that it doesn’t exist, that it isn’t as good as it’s chalked up to be. And far too often we buy into that. We settle for cheap imitations, for cardboard statues of the real thing. And we think we have found “love.” What we find is heartbreak, pain, sadness, and death. And all this makes our Enemy very happy. Another tactic he uses, is switching “love” for “lust.” In the hit song, “Teenage Dream,” by Katy Perry, she sings “you make me feel like I’m gonna lose my virginity,” and “I’m’a get your heart racin, in my skin tight jeans” Not exactly a song to promote purity, is it? But, by far the worst lyric is “Lets go all the way tonight, no regrets, just love!” Which brings to mind the culture’s biggest trade off… love has been tossed out the window, and sex has taken its place. Sex is everywhere, in every modern song, in every clothing store, in every magazine rack, television, movie theater, school, and mind in the world. Our culture is saturated in it. We think that sex means love, and so many people buy into that myth, breaking hearts and stealing lives.
But that’s just it. Its a myth. Go back and re-read that quote from St. Paul. Now read the lyrics of any modern song, especially Taylor Swift or Katy Perry. Do they match up? Which one sounds more promising? More beautiful? More lasting? Which one sounds sick? Sounds lustful? Sounds temporary and painful? You decide.
But, just as we are a culture saturated in lust, we are also a culture saturated in beauty. They go hand in hand, you know. No-one ever lusted over an ugly person. With beauty come status and wealth, because everyone knows a pretty rich person is prettier than a beautiful poor person! We pass by talent and true worth, to drink our fill at the springs of beauty and material treasures. Look at singer Ke$ha, who has zero talent whatsoever (her voice is actually a computer.) But why is she a popstar? Because she looks like this:
She’s pretty. She’s seductive. She’s rich. Therefore, she is a worthwhile human being, worthy of “love” from her fans, boyfriends, and everyone else in the universe. The world gives us a view of love that says that only the beautiful really deserve it. When was the last time you watched a movie in which two ugly people fell in love? You never have, have you? We see the guy so handsome that he makes girls’ hearts patter wildly when he enters the screen, kissing his beautiful, curvy-yet-so-thin-she-could-pose-for-anorexia-magazine, scantily clad girlfriend while thrilling music plays and the rest of the movie seems to stop, just for them (it does.)
Remember that old couple? They weren’t pretty. They had wrinkles, she was in a wheelchair, he had jowls… not at all sexy or attractive, either of them. But the true beauty shone from within, the beauty of the love they shared.
I have a friend. Her name is Katherine. She is not what I, or the world, would call pretty. She isnt super-skinny, her nose is big, and her eyebrows look like they could jump off her head any minutes. But she is inwardly the most lovely, sweetest, kindest, shiniest person! The person who will pray over my knees in adoration because she knows they hurt me. The person who will offer sympathy and acceptance, a smile and a joke, a true and beautiful friend. In this way, she is more lovely than a thousand Ke$ha’s.
One last example of true love:
This guy. Chances are, he wasn’t that handsome. He wasn’t rich. He didn’t drive his bright red convertible Mustang around Galilee, preachin’ to the crowds from his air-conditioned stage. He lived and died a beggar. He died the most gruesome end anyone could have ever imagined. And he did it… for love. For the love of you. For the love of me. For the love of every person who has ever or is or will ever live. Wanna have a quick rundown? Well, God is love. And, as we know from scripture, “In The beginning there was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus is the Word Made Flesh. Therefore, thinking logically, Jesus=God=Love! Which means, if we are made in His image… we are the image of LOVE!!! We are MADE TO LOVE!!!
So whether your love is this:
The point is, you had better go out there and love! Regardless of how someone looks or how much money they have or where they live or what religion they are… LOVE. It is only through spreading the love of Christ, flowing through us and into the people around us, that we can combat the rising tide of lust and lies that threaten to suffocate our world. It is only through love that death was destroyed. So let love conquer all fear, all doubt, and all worry. Let God take care of you, and ask that you be the instrument of His Divine Love.
And if you ever wonder if youre being loving, go back to that qute from St. Paul. Forgot it already? Thats Ok, I’ll post it back up down here.
“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.”
Only this time, take out the word love, and replace it with your name. Does it work? Are you patient? Are you kind? Do you envy? If you answer even one of these questions with a “no,” than you are not loving. Go back, correct this, and strive to be the embodiment of Love that you were made to be!
Love to all, of course.