What I learned about love.
I was standing in the cashier’s line at the local Walmart.
People walked past me frantically, looking for the last-minute flowers, chocolate boxes, and cards.
Husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, and friends are all alike the object of our love.
We scramble to make love a spectacle –evident by those we give our affection to.
But it was in that moment in the middle of the grocery store when an epiphany, most unexpected intrusion of thought, appeared.
Suddenly I saw the teddy bears and balloons for what they really are –a counterfeit love.
And I thought to myself, “That can’t be love can it?”
My question was the beginning of what seemed to be an unraveling, if I must name it.
Since then I have been on a journey travailing to discover what genuine love is.
And I want to share with you what I have learned about love thus far.
The first thing I learned about love is that it can’t be bought.
The Beatles sang about it the decade before I was born. To buy or sell such a subjective concept is delusional. To check off the list of dos on Valentine’s Day is shallow, in my opinion, (Stay with me. I am not a hater, I promise!)
The second thing I learned about love is that it is not a concept but a person.
God is love. God is a person. He is not a thing nor an idea and certainly not a product that is cheapened by the super-shallow consumerism nonsense that tv ads sell us every time a jewelry store, chocolatier, or flower shop tries to convince us that it is; just so that they make their seasonal sales quota.
God isn’t shallow, and neither is love. Whenever we think of love, we see God, and He is not something that we can buy.
The third thing I learned about love is that love is transformational.
It is a force to be reckoned with. When it meets us, it spreads inside our very being, permeating every chamber of our heart until we are changed. Then, in turn, it comes out of us, in every movement of our personality that acts as a catalyst for change in other people. It has the power to take down everything that isn’t real in our lives and make us into what we never dreamed we could be. The ones loved by God. The beloved and chosen children of love. Indeed, love changes everything it fills.
The fourth thing that I learned about love is that one striking phrase God gave me by His Holy Spirit about a year ago. Long after the day when my mind clicked as I stood in the check-out line watching people haul giant teddy bears home. It was the moment when in the secret chambers of my heart, where his soft voice sounds like fire –I heard Him say, “The Fullness of Love Cannot Exist in The Absence of Truth.”
This year more than ever, even as I get older. I am learning every day more and more the truth in love.
It is faith that makes it possible to know what love is in the light of truth. Without the truth about love, it cannot fully exist in us.
So, if our concept of love is shallow, then so is our truth about it.
And if our ideas and expectations are materialistic and worldly, then so will our truth about love be.
This Valentine’s Day, what if real love is waiting for us on the other side of our delusion?
Still, in truth, we can learn to love as we discover that Love Himself loves us.
It will take a lifetime to unlearn and learn what love truly is.
But there is time, and there is breath, and it is always the right time to know the truth in love.
Love cannot fully exist in the absence of truth. We can only be complete in our understanding of love as we stand in the light of what it is and what it is not.
“…then by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside of you,
and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.”
The fifth and most important thing I have learned about love is that love is not transactional. It is relational.
And by constantly using our faith, we can rest from striving and doing the things we think are required for love to be.
Love is the root of our lives, the only source of life within us.
Christ Himself released inside of us through relationship is what defines love.
In the faith life, there’s no getting or doing.
It is only Christ in us and with us in love.
All in all, Love transcends what we think about Him, doesn’t it?
It will take time, but we will find love if we are willing to look closely past the hype of frivolous last-minute shopping substitutes.
And that, my friends, is what I have learned about love.
Until next time,
May Love find you wide-eyed and open to the truth of being fully loved as you are today and every day until we receive its fullness.