Sunday, September 22, 2013
I'm learning a lot lately about love. About what it means, how it acts, what it thinks, how it speaks, and why it is so powerful. I'm not by any means insinuating that I know a lot about love- that is exactly the opposite of what I'm saying. I'm saying I know very little about what love really is, but I'm slowly learning.
"What Love Really Means" is currently a favorite song of mine (by the wonderful JJ Heller). It talks about people in different situations who are yearning to find someone who will love them as they are and show them what love really means. The thing I'm reminded of when I hear this song is how sadly true it is: no one knows what love really means. We all think we do. We talk about it like we do. We use the word "love" like we know what it means every day, but we don't. We take this beautiful, larger-than-life concept/feeling/covenant/idea and dumb it down to fit our vernacular and work well in Taylor Swift songs.
Then we leave hurting kids in corners, mock and shun those different from us, abandon God-ordained lifelong covenants, and so many more anti-love actions.
We apparently don't know what love means, if we claim to love yet this is what our lives look like.
Over the past few months, I've been very convicted of what it means to think and speak lovingly, and I've come to the conclusion that a HUGE part of living loved and lovingly is simply SHUTTING UP and LISTENING. Love doesn't sit waiting for a break in the conversation, thinking up a good way to tell her story or become the center of attention again. Love doesn't speak lowly of others in order that the listeners would find her to be better/cooler/funnier/____er than those she puts down. Neither does she speak of herself very much at all.
In most cases, Love listens compassionately and empathetically, letting silence in conversation bring deeper revelations. Love lets you pour your heart completely out, lets you cry until your tears have all left, lets you pretend to be ok until you're ready to talk without calling you out too early.
Love considers your pains, joys, wants, needs, fears, and memories before loudly questioning your motives.
Love, it seems, is much quieter than we realize. I often hear the phrase "Love is louder", especially in reference to the fact that love is louder than hate and depression and suicide, etc. Which I agree with... but I wonder if Love's "louder"-ness actually comes from being quieter. Maybe she stands out and seems so much "louder" because when we finally let ourselves stop and look, the brilliancy of love quietly sitting there waiting all along outshines anything else that could try to compete with it.
Maybe love is louder because her ability to be quiet is outstanding.
Maybe perfect love has the ability to cast out fear because she knows she is the essence of God's heart. She knows that He doesn't always come in the winds and rains and fires, but in the still, small voice. He came "like the winter snow: quiet, and soft, and slow"- He came with the quiet confidence and strength that is found only in love. He came bringing love herself as his mascot. Therefore love has the power cast out fear because she is God's favorite balm to apply.
The power of love is capable of changing, molding, renewing, redeeming, reviving, protecting, and more because she and God are synonymous. God is love, and love is God's language.
When I begin to realize all this, I realize I'm not necessarily learning about love so much as learning about God and how his life inside me changes the way my life inside me is spent. I'm learning what being God's means, how He acts, how He talks, how He thinks, why He is so powerful, and how to be His imitator. I know very little about who God really is, but I'm slowly learning.
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