Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I've been meaning to post for some time now. Its coming up on valentine's day but even though this post is going to talk about love that's not where the idea comes from and it's not connected really at all.
The past few weeks I've been struggling trying to figure out how one goes about loving one's enemies. Matt 5:43-48 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." The book then goes on to discuss not doing actions in public but in private.
It’s not easy either.
How do I do this though is my question. "Enemy" is a little strong in the relationship I'm struggling with right now. But I must admit, I've fallen short of love in many friendships, aquaintances and brief encounters with people. Love isn't the sum of our actions or happy feelings toward someone. Love does not need, indeed it is the opposite of needing. Sounds odd I know. Love is entirely giving, giving to the one being loved. Giving of self and self is not merely outward. More than that, I’d say its mostly inward, of that part so deep and so overwhelming you that neither doctors nor psychologist have been able to separated it or nail it down.
Loving doesn’t mean doing unselfish, unpleasant good deeds for the other person. Loving isn’t a happy overflow of lovely words, as many as they are, those are empty. Loving doesn’t mean spending every moment of your life with someone, putting them first. It can include all these things, leak out in such ways. However, I could never touch you, never speak to you, never sit with you or give you so much as a napkin and still love you. Love is a choice.
So the other person isn’t perfect, don’t expect them to be. So the other person embarresses you sometimes, stand beside them when no one else will. Not out of selfish motive, hoping he or she will see this great deed of yours and “love” you for it in return. That's where my trouble lies. C.S. Lewis wrote that true love doesn't need the other person. I long to be loved though, and I guess we try in odd silly ways to "earn" what we cannot and do not have to.
Ok, so the sum of this bog post...I'm confused and muddling through.


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