Love


The whole world is searching for love.  There seems to be this “thing” in the human heart that wants attachment; as if we are each incomplete without another someone.  Sure, there are the rare exceptions; people who seem quite able to live solitary lives; but they are far from the norm.

Today’s blos is not about “I’ve found mine, I’m sorry if you have not found yours.” But having said that, I think there is an incontrovertible alteration that takes place in a person when they have found real love.  I do think it changes you.  Forever. Whether or not you are fortunate enough to preserve that love for a lifetime is less important than whether you have ever experienced it in the first place.

I’m not talking about people that fall into romantic lust.  Sexual attraction isn’t necessarily love. Nor am I talking about people who have been in passionate relationships that ended when trust was broken. The thing about broken relationships is that they may never have been all that mutual in the first place.  Trust, once broken makes it harder to trust again.  But I’m not sure that relationships dependent on trust are what we are talking about.

Love happens.  Most, or at least many, parents know real love towards their children.  There is no need for trust.  It’s not about sexuality.  A newborn infant doesn’t have to do or be anything — all they need do is exist.  As parents, we want to protect them, to help them, to care for them — not because of who they have become but because of the love that originates in the parent towards the child.  Parental love is not love of beauty — believe me, I was there in the delivery room when our daughter was born and those first few minutes of life aren’t about Great Beauty!  Vernix caseosa and blood

600px-Vèrnix

Vernix caseosa on a newborn

In those first moments of life what you see is vernix caseosa and blood!  Not all that appealing to anyone.  Not pretty at all. But when the doctor or nurse sets the child upon mom’s breast for the first time and mom sees this infant who has grown within her for the past nine months something changes.  The little one doesn’t have to accomplish anything;  she needn’t be crowned Miss America nor be awarded the Nobel Peace prize.  All that child needs do is be.

Love is a very unique experience.  Among husbands and wives every pairing is different.  When I was still marrying people, as a pastor, I did extensive pre-marital counseling with all my couples and I’m here to tell you that every single pair is unique. Some like to talk a lot; others say very little; some like to argue, others are turned off by argument; still when people find love it can and does change their lives.

We can love causes.  Seeing great need can generate in a human heart the most amazing determination and dedication.  Lives are dedicated to callings and to causes not because of the achievements of those they are dedicated to serve, but because of the fact that they exist.

Too often in our world I think sexuality is confused for love.  We see a hunky guy or an attractive womany and something goes “zing” inside of us and we think we are in love.  I’m afraid we do ourselves a disservice by using the “L” word when that happens.  If every couple that fell in lust was instead falling in love there’d be a lot less divorce in this world and there’s be a lot less lost trust.

But everyone wants a great love; and if they aren’t finding a great love and instead they have found a great passion, well, what harm do they do if they just call it “love” instead of what it is:  a case of the hots.

Perhaps the harm is that it lowers our expectations.  We stop expecting ourselves to feel deeply.  And in doing so we make the greatest error on earth.  We sell ourselves short. We fail to try and thus we fail to achieve, all because we gave up before we even started.

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