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Faces on Faith: Clueless on love

By Staff | Feb 8, 2013

Rev. Daryl Donovan

Valentine’s Day: What a time of love!

As one poet wrote, “Valentine hearts beat more passionately than everyday hearts.”

Jim Gaffigan said, “Without Valentine’s Day, February would be … well, January.”

I’m not sure our culture understands what love is at all! I heard a guy say, “I love pizza, my dog, my wife and the Green Bay Packers.” I’m not sure I would want to be his wifeor his dog. Love is so much more than a feeling so much more than an attraction or an attachment to something.

Love is a decision. It involves our whole being. William Shakespeare wrote: “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.” The Greatest Command in the Bible is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength.” (Mark 12:30, The Bible). Love is so much more than a passing emotion.

Love is a decision to look beyond faults and see value in every human being. Years ago an elderly woman said to me, “Never look with disdain upon one for whom Christ died.” We know He died for all because of His limitless love and the value He saw in every person. As Mother Teresa once said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

Love is a decision to not allow hate to triumph. In his work, A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” There is so much hate in our world but love overcomes hate.

Finally, love is a decision to open ourselves to give and receive authentic care and compassion with others. C.S. Lewis wrote, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Where there is love, there is life.”

But perhaps the Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said it best: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. So faith, hope, love abide, these three: but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13, The Bible).