You know what love is? Do you really? Today was in a large part a lesson in love for me. Firstly, in class we talked about how Kate Croy (The Wings of the Dove again) and her love for Merton Densher. They had passion, but no love (at least not yet, we're not done with the novel). Prof. Towles was talking about how passion does not equal love--and he said that love does not begin until after passion fizzles out. I'm out of passion right now. But I can choose to love now, because this, in the midst of pain and heartbreak and aching sadness is where love can begin.
I don't know if you believe in God, or what. But I do, and I've been having issues with Him lately. But I'm an ungrateful person, and I don't appreciate Him like I should. I mean, just because He doesn't make sense to me doesn't mean that He isn't powerful, and it doesn't mean that He doesn't love me. And there are certain parallels between my relationship with God and some situations in my life with how I'm dealing with people.
I'm realizing that I can't stop loving them just because they disappoint me, or hurt me. But here's the thing. I can't love like that on my own. Do you know what that requires? Complete self-sacrifice.
Do you know why it's hard to love like that? Because sometimes, the other person isn't being very lovable. Or maybe you aren't. But regardless of what is happening, it is not always easy to love someone. It's very hard to love my brother at six AM, when he wakes me up while he's getting ready for school. Does that mean that I shouldn't love him? Absolutely not.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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."
If you love somebody, that doesn't mean you let them walk all over you. But you do have to kill your selfishness and quit picking at faults in someone else. Not all conflict is about the other person. Sometimes the cause is you. And when it is, and even when it isn't, you have to humble yourself, swallow your pride, and go to that person with an apologetic heart. Otherwise, things are not going to get better. I am guilty of not doing that. I think we all are sometimes.
Right now, I'm pretty much heartbroken. I'm done trying to hide my brokenness. I'm sorry I even tried that in the first place. But even though I'm in severe emotional pain, I will still choose to love. Because Jesus came for me when I was still guilty and undeserving...and if I can't pass that love on now, then I am a disgrace to Him. So even though I will be cut down again and again, I will still choose to love. It isn't going to be easy. I can't do it alone. I'm leaning on God to help me out here. Which is hard for me. I'm having issues with God right now.
But my issues aren't as important to me that I would hang on to them for the sake of my pride. I'll still question, but...right now it is more important that I love. I don't know what I'm going to do to show that love, but...I'm sure He's got some ideas about that.