|[Image by Rayani on Flickr]|
In anticipation of Valentine's Day, I sought to write something strikingly profound about love. But words failed me.
What is love? Do I really know? Am I worthy of writing about it?
More and more, as God keeps giving me the grace to 'walk the talk,' I'm finding out that love is a supernatural thing. A God thing. It's a very intricate web that goes beyond human understanding and involves so much more than a man giving expensive gifts to his woman or vice versa. Love is not the commercialized snapshot of Valentine's day where Cupid shoots his arrow and the man of your dreams finally proposes to love you forever. It transcends and goes beyond that. It encompasses everything we do on a daily basis.
Love is so much more than what we know and it makes me so emotional when I think about the depths of love and how often we slap the true meaning of love right in its face by our mediocre and superficial understanding of it. The Greeks understood it well enough to divide it into four categories: Agape, Eros, Philia, and Storge. Yet, they couldn't capture it into one. It was too complicated.
Capturing Love into One:
I've found a complete description of love. Something that captures love in its entirety. This is what it is:
"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13 ESV)
The truth is if you can die for me, your love knows no bounds. Every other kind of love, you see, lies in the shadow of this one.
Every bit of love that we will ever show in this life can only be a fragment of His love. His love is the highest form and is what multiplies into the different facets of human love: the love between a couple, the love from parents to children, the love between relatives, and the love between friends.
God's love will drive you nuts.
It will transform your life completely and hold you until you're driven to action. It's the kind of love that makes you want to love like Him. It drives you to do the craziest things you never dreamed you'd be doing: defeating any form of failure, saving a total stranger from destruction, leading a soul to Christ, tearing up over someone you don't know, helping someone else fulfill their own dreams, and sacrificing so much time in helping a friend in need. This kind of love, in addition to the primary types we're familiar with, is at the center of God's heart but often forgotten. The love that chose to die for us whether or not we loved back. We ought to replicate it. We need to be crazy and heads over heels in love with people regardless of religion, race, language, or creed, and perhaps something we do for them will get trapped in their hearts and they will see God through us.
The Samaritan woman left her bucket at the well and became an evangelist of His love. She ran to the marketplace to tell everyone that there was a man called Jesus "who told her everything she ever did." Something happened to her while she was talking to Jesus. She'd most likely been feeling she was living a secret life, a life she thought only the numerous men she slept with knew about. But as she spoke with Jesus and He unraveled her secrets, she felt the loving nature of God pouring into her spirit strongly and all the burdens she'd been carrying by herself suddenly felt lighter. She left her bucket by the well and ran to tell anyone she could find about Jesus. The one who was loved much became the lover, and many of us have a similar story of the love that set us free.
This is my summary of what God's love will do to you: The one who is loved much by God will become the lover. If Jesus could die for you, then you'll become a lover too.
There will be no need to wait for someone to love you first before you love them back. There would be no need to focus only on Valentines Day, you would be a gift-giver 365 days a year. Your love will be selfless and not commercialized. That's what God's love would do to you.
I pray that on this day, love will have a deeper meaning for you. I pray it transcends the commercialization of Valentine's day and breaks through to the hearts of those of you who feel like no one knows what you're going through. That's not true. God knows. God sees. His heart bleeds when you bleed, and His hand moves to steady you when you shake. He is already calming your storms and healing your brokenness. His love speaks better things than the love of man.
It's not a cliché or surprise that I write about God's love today of all days. I am someone who has been deeply loved by Him, forgiven much, blessed much, and redeemed much. My whole life is a story of His love. And because of this I have now become, by choice, such a lover, never hesitating to tell you how record-breaking this kind of love is at every opportunity I get. You can't buy this kind. Neither can you find it in physical things or in men. Only in Him. Today would be a good day to open your heart and experience His love. In the wake of Whitney Houston's passing, we are reminded that life is fleeting, but see, God's love is everlasting and will remain even when everything else passes away (RIP Whitney). So let us grasp His love and be crazy about this kind of love today.
Happy Valentine's Day in style, Readers. Hold the hands of your loved ones and tell them that you will love them with the love of Christ, because that's the best kind of love you can ever give them today and always. And then of course, don't forget the chocolates, roses, and gadgets too. *wink*