Tuesday, June 14, 2011

More than words is all you have to do to make it real

A depthy post on the nature of love is far beyond the scope of this blog (and let's face it, far beyond my comprehension). But I will say this: I think it's very easy for us to offer the words "I love you" as just that - an offering; a gift. We often say it in the same way we would give a compliment; a sort of kind gesture from me to you. The gift I give is the way I feel about you. This is not to say that the backing sentiment is phony, but simply that we don't always take pains for our meanings.

The sages of our time often inform us that love has more to do with our actions than our emotions, and while that sounds all noble and good, the thing is that it seems to actually, quite literally be true.

Exhibit A: Some time ago I began to feel uneasy whenever I got to that part in my prayers when I told the Lord that I "loved Him." My subconscious understanding of love being a gift rendered my declaration immediately ridiculous. Who am I to think that I have anything to give that He doesn't already have? The implication of gift-giving is that one must have and one must lack, and this is never the case in our relationship with the Omnipotent God. Even more disturbing, if love is simply a way of feeling about someone, who am I to "feel" towards the Lord as a man feels towards his pet dog, or the mountains, or Beethoven symphonies? The notion implies a sort of evaluation I have over some sort of raw material. To assume that I have any sort of capacity for evaluating the Lord is probably the most outrageous and offensive thing ever.

But alas, the saving grace lies in the fact that I was wrong about love. It is not a gift you give by saying it. It is an explanation for something you're already doing. Ideally, when I tell you I love you, it is a pleasant but unnecessary caption for the illustration of everything I am doing to support, nurture, and care for you. And you see, when we look at it this way, it makes perfect sense to tell the Lord we love Him. We are not so much expressing a sentiment to Him as we are committing ourselves to continue serving him; to act in charity towards Him and all men, because charity is the pure love of Christ.

There, doesn't that just FEEL better?


Collette Mae said...

You are right. That does feel better. Although I never thought of it -- I lack your brilliance -- you were scaring me until the end. Sigh. Relief. Although I would like to say (even if the point is mute given your conclusion)that the things we love other than God (dogs, mountains, symphonies) are inspired by God. Perhaps loving them is another part of loving God, and also rejecting/not serving/not loving things not from God (Lady Gaga tehe but for reals) is another way of showing love. As we discern what is good and what is bad and CHOOSE to love and serve etc. the good, we show love to God. Am I becoming redundant? I need it in order to understand myself :)

Mish said...

Nope, perfect amount of redundant for me, too. And you are right-on as always!

Tiffany said...

I've often wished there were more words in our language to encompass the multiple meanings of love. Perhaps there will be in Adamic, someday... or perhaps our spirits will have a much more effective, succinct form of communication altogether. In the meantime, keep posting. I loved this one greatly. I'd like you to cross stitch it for me, please and thank you, with a little heart and squiggly line border.