In the wide-open field we call life—that broad expanse of experience, time and space—there’s a thing so rare; such a rare thing... as love. In its most essential context it’s nothing about romance, or partiality, or the will to do well. All these pale crudely by comparison.
Love is rare as gold and it’s almost impossible to find in mineable quantities. For, this love we consider is the moral agency and urgency of the Lord our God. Those who can love, even for a moment, by their heartfelt sacrifice, have captured and epitomised an integral part of God’s character, even for that moment.
And they will know the blessing of the Lord.
Nurturing This Thing So Rare
If we would be given to the truth, and for many of us that’s critically important, we must agree with the biblical Word that paints us, humankind, as an entity that has so much capacity for love, yet falls in our failure to love so often.
We are sinners. Our sin prevents us from loving in any sustainable way, mainly for our self-protection. And still we try. God values our efforts, yet he blesses more, in abundant grace, the sort of weak surrender the world despises.
But weakness in the world’s eyes is strength in God’s. He notes the kindness and compassion and patience in our love and blesses our hearts. When we operate in love, never do we finish in complaint. Love and pride are incompatible.
The humblest of all people is the acknowledged sinner—a wonderful paradox puts them closest to God. Then, and only then, can God’s Spirit work in that sinner’s heart, and then the process of nurturing begins.
Where Our Focus Is Our Focus Becomes
It’s a self-defeating thing to not love. When we insist on our own way, on our complaints, one judging people, in being divisive, and in avoiding the truly good things of life in preference to the naughty things, we miss love and we miss happiness and peace. Not long after that our hope begins to sink. Hope must find a home, and when there’s no prepared place of virtuosity for it to reside, it runs.
But when we focus on love, that focus becomes our focus. When we go out of our way to understand our hearts, and why we feel the way we do, challenging ourselves to love, we do eventually love better—but never perfectly will we love.
If we’re sold to the good things in life, and can no longer be sold to the worthless things, love has become our focus, however inconsistent we still may be.
When our focus shifts to love we care more. Our own agendas scurry to the background. Others’ needs come into our scope of view. Then, for the first time, we begin to be happy.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.
Graphic Credit: Dray-sen.