How I am bad at love…

I wrote the following a few years ago, and today, it’s a stronger truth about me and how I am bad at love than it was when I originally wrote it. Because I am bad at love and I’m running out of time to get better.

* * *     * * *     * * *

It is entirely possible that this is only an epiphany to me. Y’all have perhaps known this all along and I’m the old slow one. If so, it’s okay for you to point this out with much laughter. Anyway, here goes…

If indeed we are, after death, all in the presence of God and it is our love or hate for God’s love for us that makes this afterlife heaven or hell [see “River of Fire” by Alexander Kalomiors], then there is a step I hadn’t considered until now. Think with me here: the hug of a loved one – a child (this is the one I most feel connected to), a parent or sibling or friend or spouse or lover – at that moment is sheer, complete, total love and contentment. Because we as earthly creatures are bound by time, we cannot stay in that perfect moment of love. We move on, we get bored or restless or tired or any thousand thousand things that take us away from that embrace. But what if we could only ever be in the moment, if we didn’t get tired or bored or hungry or whatever? What if we stay inside the sweetness of that love? Conversely, the hug of someone we do not love is truly awful. The body and soul, even if they endure the embrace, recoil and wish for escape. But what if there is only moment of being embraced and no escape? Here is my unconsidered step. It is easy for me to say to myself, “Oh yes, of course, I love God and want the eternal embrace that is contented, happy love.” But maybe I must also be willing to accept God’s mutual love, His “hug”, with people I really, really don’t like. With people I despise and hold in contempt and am angry with and hurt by and who have injured me and whom I have wished and do even now wish to injure. With those who just bug me and irritate me and nag the living crap out of me all the damn time. And if I intend to love God and stay in that love forever, I must find a way to forever love these awful people too. I think it is in James that there is something to the effect that I cannot say I love God whom I have not seen and yet hate my brother whom I have seen. That sounds temporal to me and so I constantly try to find ways to slide around such a basic statement of fact. But what if it isn’t temporal? What if it’s eternal, and I cannot say that I love God, I cannot in fact love God and be loved in that eternal happy moment if I am not willing to hug the others I can’t stand and never want to see again who also love God and are loved by God? I must reassess how I view other people, how I respond to them, if I do in fact love God and if I am willing to see these people as the image of Christ Himself and if I am willing to love them forever. This will be and is right now SO HARD for me…



About mizmonk

Thinking about it. I am not my job, but I don't do much other than work, so . . . wait, what was the question again??
This entry was posted in Is that love?, Orthodox Christianity. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s