Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Love is...

Love.  We all want it.  We all have different ideas about what it is and what it looks like, but most everyone agrees that it is a good thing. Love has been a topic that has come up a number of times the last few day...in conversations with friends and family, in reading, in the sermon at church... When something comes up like that again and again I start to think about it, and when I start to think about it, I start to write about it, and then you get to read about it. 
As humans, we kind of fail at love.  I fail at love. We say that we love someone, and then we don't show it.  We tell ourselves that we love someone, but we never tell them.   I have had a number of relationships in the past with people who have said that they loved me, but that love was always contingent upon what I could do for them.  Once I was no longer useful to them, they dropped me like a hot potato and I was left to try and put the pieces of my heart back together.
I learned that love was something I had to earn and I could "un-earn" it much easier than I earned it. I craved love and spent lots of time trying to earn it.  My head knew that there were people who loved me, but either my heart didn't believe it or I couldn't accept it because of my past experiences with people who said they loved me.
This causes/caused problems when it comes to understanding G-d's love.  G-d's love is something that you can't earn and you can't "un-earn" it either. Joe B, the chaplain at Central, often told us "There is nothing you can do to make G-d love you more and nothing you can do to make G-d love you less".  It's easy to say, but harder to believe, especially when you try to understand G-d's love by superimposing our concept of human love on it. It just doesn't work that way.  G-d's love is so much greater, so much beyond our understanding.  He loves us so much that he sent his only son, Jesus, to take our place on the cross, while we were yet sinners...His love is so amazing that we can't even begin to love without Him first loving us. We might try, but we'll never really get it. We can't.  We have to be filled up with love before we can give it away.
One of my favorite songs has a line "Love's like a hurricane, I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy". I think the real name of the song is "How He loves", but my friends and I call it the Hurricane song, because of this line.   I've never experienced a hurricane in real life (we don't get many in these parts), but I've seen pictures.  I've seen the pictures of trees bent over to the point where their tops are touching the ground. Trees are usually pretty solid entities. I couldn't bend a tree, no matter how hard I tried.  But the hurricane is stronger.  It bends the tree as if it were nothing.  The tree is subject to the will of the hurricane, whether it wants to be or not.  Likewise, whether we want to be loved by G-d or not, he is going to love us. His love is so much more powerful than anything else we can even imagine.
As I sat with this image, of a hurricane bending a tree, earlier this week, I became bothered by something.  Sometimes, the hurricane breaks the trees.  It took me awhile to wrap my head around this.  It could be that the hurricane breaks the trees because they refuse to bend, they refuse to acknowledge the power of the hurricane.  Maybe, G-d lets us be broken because we refuse to acknowledge the power of his love.   I love my brothers and sisters.  I love my friends.  My love is powerful (but nothing like G-d's love...that is like super super super powerful), and because I love them, I have to let them make their own choices.  Sometimes that means they get hurt.  Sometimes it means they get angry with me.  I think G-d does the same thing.  Because he loves us so much, he lets us make our own choices.  Sometimes that means we get hurt.  Sometimes it means we get angry with Him.  But, because of his great and powerful love, he is always there, waiting for us to come back to him, waiting for us to let him pick up the pieces and put us back together.  Sometimes we bend, sometimes we break, but G-d never changes and his love will always be there, no matter what.
I could talk about G-d's love for a long time because there is a lot more I could say about it, but that would make this post even longer than it already is, so I'll stop now and leave you with this image:
"Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree"

1 comment:

Angela said...

You're right about the song title. It's by David Crowder Band and I love that cd