Self-indulgent parenthetical: I have a thing about randomly assigning milestones. Am I so OCD I need to organize the timeline of my life, too? Arg! I just, I want to remember.
God loves us. Not for who we are, but because of who He is. If we love God, we are called to love others, not for who they are, but because God does. And last night I had the though, "Well, that must stink." It was just my silly pride, of course, resenting the fact that I am not supposed to be loved because I am smart or funny or anything remotely lovable. But that realization just opened a whole new can of worms: what place does validation and encouragement have in a love that is not based on merit but on God? How does one show their love when love really has nothing to do with said person and everything to do with God? Is it not true that our relationships with people are supposed to mirror our relationship with God? I'm not sure I can even fully explain my thought process, it was so confusing to me.
Then, whilest dusting a mahogany dresser at my neighbor's house this morning, things sharpened in their focus the slightest bit. God is love. He is the very definition. Want to know love? Know God. He will teach us to walk the walk. More concisely, however, love is patient. Love is kind. Love forgives, protects, trusts, hopes, and defends. And I wonder what that is supposed to look like in my love for people. I think love is less about, "I think you are pretty amazing" and more about "I will stand up for you, I will comfort you, I will serve you." Flattery is easy. Affirmation is simple. Love is much riskier, much harder. Love is not what I thought it was, and it's strange to relearn this same lesson, but in a different language. Love is much deeper than I ever could have dreamed.
I wish I knew, I wish I understood! I think love must be God's greatest invention. I know so little and it frustrates me sometimes, but the little glimpses I see, love must be so important, so much more important than we think it is. Love saved us, love changed us, love made us whole. God is pushing us towards this conclusion, I think He must be, I think love really must change everything. And we think we know what love is, but He says, look to Me! Not to the world! Not to each other! When we say, "I wish I knew what love was," what we really mean is, "I wish I knew God better." God is spectacular, don't you think?