What is Love?
In our current society, we have moved to a place where romantic love trumps everything and is the reason most marry or enter into relationships. We also have decided that when talking about how we should interact with others that it is the correct word to use, but often we use it as a synonym for respect, or to recognize each other’s mutual humanity. None of these things are in essence wrong, they’re just different ways we understand this word called love–the hardest of terms–especially when it comes to being loved by a God who creates and calls us while also giving us freedom within the created world.
Love becomes even harder to understand when it seems that a God who has that much power leaves us seemingly vulnerable and weak. What kind of love is it that allows for abuse, inequality, crippling poverty, hate, and so many things that harm the very people created in your image, God?
It is in these desperate places that people will act out of their desperation for those they care for. God shows us love through desperate actions. God’s love is the love of promise. A promise is a desperate act, an act that says “I want you to know that not only do I care about you, but I also hear what is important to you, and I will do everything I can to make that happen.” God is a God of desperate love and promises. Thus God is always for those who have nothing but their desperation and their word.
For them, and thus for us all, God will see the promise through: that we will find a new dawn breaking that brings with it light for those in darkness and in the shadow of death. A promise that God will grant a way of peace for us all.
Yet we are not just those who are given that promise. We are participants in that promise–joining in the work, joining in God’s desperation, joining in the promise-making.
We are, as John the baptizer was, sent ahead to prepare the way, to give knowledge, to forgive, to move, to act, to promise, to love.
A reflection by Adj Williams.