“I love you so very much.” One cannot help but smile from East to West when they hear these words. It has always been comical to me how when one is telling a friend, love or family this words has to qualify them “SO VERY MUCH” Hahahaha. Sometimes someone will have to add extra words to give this qualification an effect “I love you so very much and will cross a crocodile infested river for you”. I had to laugh and as usual say the much used “Awwwwwwwww. So sweet. I love you too”. How truly precious love is. We can only love for God loved us first. Thank you God for this great gift.
My definition of love has always been happy, lovey dovey, all things working out, a lot of mushiness and all that makes our heart beat for our dear love, friends and family. Somehow, to be in love and in love means that all is going on well. This seems to be a common definition. We are in love as long as “that” feeling is still there for our love, when we remain convenient and meet a particular need for our friends and remain to be a dear big sister who spoil us with gifts. As long as we are getting something worthwhile in our daily relations or it is easy to be with these people we seem to say “I love you” automatically.
Well, as a devoted student of life, I quickly learnt that each time a situation stopped being rosy, pleasant and convenient then the love would have to die a natural death too as people quickly pulled away. We all know of the friends who were quick to walk away when we got into a problem that was too much for them. A brother who chose to remain silent at all that was happening in his family “I can’t deal. This is too much”. A husband or a wife who walked away from home for good never to return because their better half was no longer fun exciting as they first met them or a terminal disease. See what I mean? Where is the love at this time?
I cannot accuse anyone of not having been sincere when thy said this three beautiful words. I, having said them countless times to my friends and family, I know I meant each word. Then what? One may ask. I have come to learn that many of us though aware and knowledgeable of what love is, remain conversant with the “idea” of it and never it’s true definition. No one ever takes time to clearly define love for us. And so we grow up knowing the definition of love to be “happy” “convenient” “workable”. The Father of lies let us know that to love is to have a good feeling, anything less is not love.
But look, how can you have joy when you do not know pain? How can you know wealth if you have never been poor? How can you know success when you have never failed? How can you say you truly love if you have never had that love tested and had to love the unlovable? See to love a lovable person is very easy. Quite easy. Now to love an unlovable person is the true test of love.
Just when things are getting sweet, the true teacher of love comes in and says “Well, you say you are in love, right? I am sure you will not mind if we take it for a test drive, will you?” Convinced that the test is as easy as ABC, you boldly say “Bring it on. In fact you might as well give me the award in advance for I have surely passed the test”.
The true teacher of love is kind to alter the situations in your life to bring you to the knowledge of true love. A little hardship there and another over there, nothing we can’t handle. A sweet wife turned to a bitter and vile person, a child who is constantly in trouble and always have to bail out of jail, a husband who has lost a lucrative job and all your friends are envious of your life, a friend who suddenly feels the need to run off with your money, a much awaited delivery of your first child only to find the child is deformed for dear life with the doctors advising, you do the child a favour and ride it of its misery, a wife who no longer looks as youthful and face wrinkled from the toll life has taken and so much more. As He continues you are by now on your knees and saying “STOP IT.STOP IT!” This is not the life you signed up for. You signed up for …happily ever after. He tenderly lifts your chin and you come face to face with Him. All you see is love and compassion in the midst of turmoil, unhappiness in these unlovable circumstances’.
“But I don’t understand” you tell Him in midst of tears. He lovingly lifts you to your feet and tells you “Let me show you” as a huge flat screen TV appears. In His sweet and comforting voice He says “While you were all still sinners, I sent my one and only son to die on the cross for you” as He speaks you see the clear image of the life of Jesus Christ one who was never fully accepted. He was tortured, disgraced, abused, beaten, dismissed and all things one should never have to go through. You say “This is too much. He is God let Him kill all these blasphemous beings. How ungrateful they are” you say in anger. The teacher smiles at you and faces you “But you are one of them. Yet He took it all in for you and every single soul on earth”. You fall on your knees at this revelation and cry bitterly “But we don’t deserve it. We are not worthy of such a great sacrifice. Why would you do that?”
“For love my dear. Only for love. That is and has always been the true definition of love. At the cross. There is no beauty in it as your world would say. It’s full of pain, sacrifice and sorrow. It’s not fun. Even when the human race remained unlovable, I gave my one and only Son as a sacrifice so that each and every one of you may experience what true love is. A love that has no conditions but just is.”
How truly amazing my sweet Lord and Saviour Jesus is. The day I questioned true love, I was asked quietly “Will you stop loving them for they have become unlovable?” I never answered immediately. Yet when I did I could only be honest with the One who knows it all. I only love or loved people if they remained loveable or loving them remained convenient .Such a brutal truth. On that day the Lord taught me His true definition of love .We can only love perfectly when we encounter the one called love. By the time I had gone through this test, I knew what to love unconditionally meant. Did I like it? NO! To my human mind it was low, inconvenient and costly, yet the beauty I found in it was a feeling I can never put in words. To see the world through His eyes has been so amazing. If you were to take the test today, how would you fair?
It is with this I knew without a shadow of doubt what my main new year’s resolution would be. To love God and others unconditionally. This may be the toughest and most daunting decision that I have made but I thank God I will not attain it by my own strength,for it is impossible to truly love without Him who is called Love. So help me God.
Can also check out a related blog post i wrote on The Futility of Selfish Love,Here: