If you love…

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010 at 2:40 pm

“How did one find joy? In books it seemed to be found in love–a great love….So, if he wanted the heights of joy, he must have, if he could find it, a great love. But in the books again, great joy through love seemed always to go hand in hand with frightful pain. Still, he thought, looking out across the meadow, still, the joy would be worth the pain–if, indeed, they went together. If there were a choice–and he suspected there was–a choice between, on the one hand, the heights and the depths and, on the other hand, some sort of safe, cautious middle way, he for one, here and now chose the heights and the depths.
~Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy

Love is intrinsically dangerous. It is a giving away of one’s heart that opens one up to the ecstasies of love’s return and the torments of love’s rejection. Some might carefully wall off their hearts, seal them against love, in order to preserve the cautious middle way with neither heights nor depths.

I choose to love.

“The best way to confront the traditional view of the impassibility of God, however, is to ask ‘what meaning there can be in a love which is not costly to the lover.’ If love is self-giving, then it is inevitably vulnerable to pain, since it exposes itself to the possibility of rejection and insult.
~John Stott, The Cross of Christ

But love is not merely the initial giving away of one’s self, the captivation with another, the heady emotion of shared joy. Love is the continued giving, even when joy seems unlikely, even impossible.

Love looks like the cross.

Love is giving of oneself when it provides no rapture, only pain. Love is choosing the pain; if by the pain, the beloved’s joy can somehow be increased.

I have been offered a choice.

If you love… you rejoice when the beloved rejoices, even if his rejoicing is your sorrow.

If you love… you pray for the beloved’s peace, even if his peace means your turmoil.

If you love… you must be willing to die.

This is not romantic, butterflies-in-the-stomach, shivers-up-and-down-my-spine love. This is cross-love, God’s love. And I pray one day, I should truly learn to love this way.

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Reader Comments (1):

  1. Anna says:

    “Sometimes me think what is love, and then me think love is what last cookie is for. Me give up the last cookie for you.” -Cookie Monster

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