1 John 4.16
We have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whenever we abide in love, we abide in God, and God abides in us
A Word of Hope
Is love an action or is love a feeling? A good friend once told me when you love someone you quite literally love how they make you feel when you’re with them. I’ll stretch that to say, if you love a movie, it’s loving the feelings you have when you watch it. When you eat certain things we shall call comfort foods, we love how we feel when we’re eating them. But neither movies nor food actually love us back.
It stands to reason, the person you love may not feel the same way you do, but it’s kismet when there’s a strong match and the two of you are in sync, whether we’re talking friendship or marriage. Loving somebody just feels good all over, right?
We’ve all heard people say I don’t like religion or I’m not a Christian. I used to rush to defend myself if I disagreed, usually without much thinking or empathy. Where were they coming from, I wondered? Bad church experience? Greedy televangelists? Winding back my thinking, I hope that if I love Jesus, am I saying I love the way that thought makes me feel? Could be. But is it more literally true that I hope my love for Jesus (God) is what God feels for me, too?
Isn’t that the way this works? Is that Faith or is this more of a human mental construct? It’s an abstract concept, but we’re physical beings so how does God’s love for us work, anyway? I’ve come to think for myself that I get what I give. Perhaps grace is what I get without giving. Plenty of Grace all around me, as well. Yet, in another manner of thinking, I’ve learned to consider truly loving myself unconditionally, including my flaws, because that’s what make me who I am. It took a long time for me to love and appreciate myself. After all, I’ve been through a lot with “me.”
If I love myself, in such a way, could it be I find myself worthy of love? If the essence of God is love, is the feeling I’m getting from God living in me? So many questions and I’ll admit it’s abstract Faith. I’m not sure if I have any answers for you but for myself, I’ve created the most wonderful, perfect image of the living God. It’s difficult to interpret and navigate this expression of God because I know daily that question gets bigger and bigger. What is God? Does God love me? Am I capable of loving in a world that sometimes seems absent of God’s love and protection? These are tough questions, to say the least.
I stopped believing that aspect of the nature of God about God’s interceding in every minutia of Earth’s daily events. We see calamities all around us; wars, violence, injustice. Things that might look like the absence of love. But it’s not true. You are not just an expression of God’s love. YOU are that love. YOU take it with you and use it and bring to the lives around you. It’s compassion, it’s empathy, it’s action, it’s you. How does it feel to be loved? It feels the same as giving it and in time or an instant, that precious gift all comes back. You are the eyes, ears, arms, legs, and action of expressing God’s intent of love. If you’re without love today, charge your battery with some self-care. Love yourself first, then share it.
May I accept the miraculous grace of your love this day and be your love in the lives of those around me.
Charlie C. Rose
Order of St. Francis and Saint Clare