Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The task of true love

The Paradox of Love

Thinking recently about the meaning of love, I realized that there are many impulses in me that hinder true love. I am someone who likes to figure things out, always analyzing, correcting, training or instructing. But this ‘figure it and fix it’ mindset is not the real task of love. It may be a human, default mode for me, but it is not true love!

Love is related to the work of God. Love is related to the purposes of God, the desires of God being worked out in the lives of others. On this level it is not something to figure and fix! It is only something that can be discerned and approached in prayer. As the will of God is vast and mysterious, yet also that which brings abundant life -- so the highest love is to pray and obey, to enter the mystery through faithfulness. And, Christ promises that in some inexplicable way, this will work out holy will in the lives of those for whom we pray. The Holy Spirit works in true love what our lesser love could never do.

It is easy to speak of love as laying down one’s life for the other, but when this demands obedience in prayer, obedience in silence…oh! It is then that the price of love is revealed. True love is revealed in the secret place of prayer. The task of true love is faithfulness in this silent place.

Lightly we speak of true love. But our lips are silenced when the real thing is shown to be so far above comfort and easy emotions! But even then, looking back, we say, “Oh, it was nothing!”

It is the paradox of love: Love is at once the easiest and hardest thing we can do; it is at once the most desirable thing, and also the thing which we most flee.

Thus it is great comfort when Jesus says, “Child, leave the fixing to Me. Leave My work to Me and occupy yourself with the task to which I call you!” “Daughter, let love be that which fixes your difficulties, let love be that which builds up your spirit.” “Son, let Me work love, just do your work of love!”

True love is impossible in human terms. But through the Holy Spirit, in faithfulness in the silent place, such a thing still happens in human time. A paradox. Yet the most real thing in the universe…



Prayer: Lord God, Abba! When my natural impulses rise up against the task of true love, please consider me in grace, and heal me. When I would rather know and fix than pray, please speak to me through your Holy Spirit, and renew me. When my fallen nature resists the silent place of true love, please view me in Christ, and renew me in high calling, through your good Spirit. This I pray for the glory of your kingdom, and for your Name’s sake, O Holy God! Amen.

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