And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:13
Listening to Nancy Rollin’s interview about her terrifying experience at the Boston Marathon touched my heart deeply. I was moved because I could feel how much she cared about all those who were hurt and suffered.
Seeing one human being love another is what touches and inspires me the most. Love is a word that is used and understood by young children as well as adults. The phrase,“Love you,” is a staple in most relationships.Kids know what they mean even though they may have no adequate definition. As adults we recognize that love is easy to say and much harder to do consistently.
Eric Fromm writes in his book The Art of Loving, “Love is an active power in man; a power which breaks through the walls which separate man from his fellow men, which unites him with others; love makes him overcome the sense of isolation and separateness, yet it permits him to be himself; to retain his integrity.”
Life is about relationships. Alfred Adler believed that the foundation of healthy living was our concern for others, growing out of our respect and concern for ourselves. We too often confuse love with excessive or unnecessary sacrifice. Love involves a mutual exchange between individuals much like the love experienced between a mother and her newborn infant. The infant does not appear to give as much as the mother; however, is there any question that the mother feels loved by her child? Love is a reciprocal experience of sharing concern and giving to one another.
Love is also a transcendental principle and ideal, which has been the base drumbeat driving my life. Looking back, I see how I have been chasing love from my earliest memories. I did not recognize my hunger nor would I have described it as a yearning for love. I have yearned to love and be loved from the very beginning.
Love has been North on my compass. When I was younger I thought I understood what love was. I could quote 1 Corinthians 13 and many of the “love one another” verses in the Bible. Time and repeated failures have humbled me. I now experience a sense of reverence and awe when I think of love, believing that apart from Divine Assistance I will continuously fall short of its demands.
At the heart of love is giving. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) A rich and meaningful life is the blessing for those who will choose to invest their lives in loving one another.
Watch today for the divine appointments that are offering you the opportunity to give and serve others. These are the building blocks of a life of love. Jesus challenged the disciples saying, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 13:35) Remember, loving is an act shared in community with others. In its purest form, it is a mutual and reciprocal act of concern for and giving to one another.