Too often, I think we are grossly confused about love. We mistake human appetite for love, whether it's for chocolate, a medium-rare rib eye, or sex, we focus on how something or someone makes us feel and then evaluate whether or not that is love. In that aspect, love is a purely human and purely selfish reaction to the stimulus of the world around us. Surely love means more than just the reaction of our appetite or our libido?
Sometimes, I think we feel like love means we have to accept, overlook, even endorse harmful and dangerous behavior from others. I don't know how many times I have heard, "Well, we have to love them anyway." What does that mean? If someone we know is caught up in self-destructive behavior to stand aside with some anemic spiritual shrug, regurgitating some well worn platitude can't be all there is to love.
Seriously, there must be more - please there has to be more!
When I look at Jesus I see love and it is so intricate and faceted that it is almost beyond description. Here are just a few examples:
- He turns water into wine to please his mother and avert an embarrassing situation for a bride's parents.
- He made children the center of so many of his examples of how to follow him with simple joy and childlike whimsy.
- He put himself between selfish, bigoted religious folk and a broken woman, so that she knew that, at last, someone cared for her.
- He harshly, caustically criticized Peter for his petulance when He just told them He was going to die for them.
- And, most importantly he crawled onto a cross and let love pierce his hands and feet and side and died as the ultimate example of love.
Love is a radical thing! It is a dangerous thing! It is a simple thing! But it is a thing that will change everything!
Ah, so you see, "All You Need Is Love!"