From the moment I started this series and was trying to capture each of these life actions in a few short paragraphs, this is the one that scared me the most. Not because I don’t know what love is or have never experienced it; quite the opposite. I have experienced it. From a mother and a father, from a sister, from genuine friends. I even know that it was there in my marriage in some fashion. I have it for and receive it from my kids in spades.
I have known the Love of God in the work of his Creation, in the gift of life in Christ, and through the presence of His Spirit.
What scared me was the notion of taking as grand an idea as “love” and whittling it down to a few livable sentences. Can it be as simple as “doing unto other as you would have done unto you”? That is a very simple expression of love. Does it need to be as deep the willingness to lay down your life for a friend…or an enemy? Does it require taking on the cross of Christ and being, as the apostle Paul urged us to be, a “living sacrifice” to God.
Then I noticed something about my line of thoughts: they are all answers. Love, of all things, doesn’t have an answer. The whole essence of love lies in living the question of it. What does it look like today? What does it need to be for that person? How can I receive it in a new, fresh way in this moment? Am I moving slowly enough to feel the immense joy and bitter sting that often comes with it? The moment we stop asking the question and try to apply a formula to love – to reduce it to an answer, it becomes a dry task or an empty ritual.
Love is God’s ultimate command and our greatest question. May our lives be rich from the paths to which it leads us.