What is love? Well, that’s a question and a half, isn’t it?
“All you need is love.”
“Love is a battlefield.”
“Looking for love in all the wrong places.”
“What’s love got to do with it?”
(Insert a gazillion song titles here.)
“Love your neighbor.”
“God is love.”
No wonder there’s some confusion about love in our mainstream culture. Love is one of the most overused English words – and one of the least used human qualities. Far too many people in the world are not loved by others – and do not know that they are divinely and infinitely loved. And, yet, those who have very little experience with real love still have an innate longing and need for it.
Our society offers romantic love as the highest form of love, leaving many disillusioned when they cannot find a partner with whom to live up to that ideal. Yet, even this ideal that society offers falls short of the highest form of love. What, then, do we teach our children about love?
When we say “love” we can mean different things. Sometimes, we mean that we really, really like something. I say, “I love pie” or, “I love books.” What are some of the things that you love like this?
The best kind of love, true love, means much more than really, really liking something. This kind of love is bigger than big – it can never be measured – and it never ends. This is the kind of love that a grown up means when he or she says, “I love my daughter” or, “I love my son.” Who do you love like this?
Sometimes, you can truly love a person and not like something that that person does. So, even when you feel, at the moment, that you don’t really like your brother or sister, or even your parents, you can still love them. Because liking can change – but true loving does not change.
This true love is the God kind of love. It lasts forever. It’s like when a grownup might hold open his arms really wide and say, “I love you thiiiiis much!” When a person does that, his hands might not be bent in like he’s holding some imaginary thing. Instead, they might be open with the fingers pointing forever in both directions. This is because, when we truly love someone with the God kind of love, that love is too big to hold. There is always more. We can never run out of true love because it is infinite, without end.
When we love someone like this, we are loving as God loves. Because God loves us infinitely, forever. God tells us and shows us that He loves us in and through Jesus. When we see Jesus on the Cross, we see how much God loves us. This is how God says, “I love you thiiiiis much!”
Whenever we see a crucifix, we remember that God loves us always and forever.
Remember, God created all of us because He loves us. He created you because He loves you. God loved you even before He formed your body in your mommy’s belly. He gave you your soul and it’s your soul that makes your body alive. And your soul lives forever – just like the God kind of love lasts forever.
© 2018 Christina Chase
Photo credit: Aaron Burden
Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.