how do you know you really love someone? there are some who say that the only way you truly know you love someone is if you are happiest for them when they are happy, regardless of whether or not you are directly involved in said happiness.
an ex-boyfriend recently reminded me of a quote by CS Lewis from The Four Loves:
“Appreciative love gazes and holds its breath and is silent, rejoices that such a wonder should exist even if not for him, will not be wholly dejected by losing her, would rather have it so than never to have seen her at all.”
for me, when i think i’m “falling” for someone, i find myself already contemplating how it could end. it’s that fatalistic, pessimistic (aka realistic… haha ok ok sorry) streak i have. which is based solely on my track record. look, if your batting average sucks, chances are you will suck at bat. that’s how that average thing works.
there are two typical things i do when i start liking someone – immediately start thinking of another girl he might like better, and soon thereafter think of all the ways i can keep myself from getting hurt and back off as quickly as possible.
in other words, i do not want to work that hard.
and it gets me to thinking… what *would* i do for love? anything? but i wouldn’t do … that? (that’s a song lyric reference for those not acquainted with the Meat man) i am a fairly lazy and self-absorbed person when it comes to dating. i might be staying busy to keep from having to open up that side of my existence to whatever may lie ahead, but then again, it may be that i just don’t feel i have room for anyone else and keeping it that way is an overworked defense mechanism for avoiding the hurt and loneliness that might sneak in.
and i can’t help but think whatever love we get to have, whatever glimpse we get of that kind of beauty and pleasure and hope, it pales in comparison to the story of the Love of God. whatever you may believe about Jesus and the giving of His Life, you have to admit it’s a pretty fantastic story. the virgin sacrifice on our behalf (and for once it’s a dude which is nice – i’m an equal opportunity sacrificer) paves the way for Freedom and Justice and Mercy and Grace. it’s exciting and liberating and …
completely intimidating. how do we love like THAT? how do we take up our cross? how do we find any method of pouring out our energies and our time and our gifts and our very beings?
this is everything i’m thinking about leading to Maundy Thursday and the events of a fateful night that changed history. what love is this? what *is* love anyway? does anybody love anybody anyway? whoa. whoa. (another reference this time to a howard)
all kidding aside, these words have been swimming around my head lately and reminding me of the great mystery of love. i pray you will all be blessed in a new way this holy week…
The strangeness of love
My life in Your death
In Your brokenness
My wholeness revealed
Your bonds are my freedom
Your sorrow my song
And by Your wounds
I am healed…
– Isaac Watts, 1707