I’ve been thinking a lot about love over the last few weeks. It’s such a singular word to describe such a wide array of emotion. We say we love coffee and we love God…how can the same word describe both feelings? Whenever I think on this subject I of course think about the three types of love in the Bible; eros, philos and agape. Sometimes there are things that our English translations just can’t capture.
Lately, I have been thinking on my own understanding of love. When I was little I thought there was no way I could love anyone more than I could love my Mom and Dad. Then I met my first boyfriend and realized there was a completely different kind of love. I figured there was no way I would love anyone more than him but that came and went pretty quickly. Then came my time at the Mission and yet again I became aware of yet another type of love. I loved those kids with all my heart! As I grew and experienced more of the world my understanding of love deepened and grew as well. The love I felt when I married my husband was different from the love I felt when I held my daughter for the first time. I am realizing that good love, the kind that lasts, changes, unfolds and deepens as we continue to experience it.
In the last few weeks my understanding of love has grown. I thought there was no possible way I could love Mike more, I was wrong. As he sat beside me, like a rock, holding my hand as we feared the worst had happened to Ty, my love grew. When I watched him drive us home from the hospital with a watchful eye in the review mirror on our son, my love grew. When he pulled the car over and picked up our vomit covered boy, holding him tight against himself without a care of the mess or smell, and told him it would be ok, my love grew. Watching him drive home without a shirt on because he gave his only clean jacket to Ty (worried he might get cold on the rest of the way home), my love grew. Seeing him jump at every tiny sound that the little guy made, worried he might be in pain and need something, my love grew.
To use the same word describe my feelings about Dr. Pepper and my feelings about my husband seems so incredibly wrong. I have been blessed in this life, far beyond what I deserve. God saw fit to put a man at my side who by his own example challenges me to be more thoughtful, kind, compassionate and others centered. As I thought on the things that happened over the last few weeks that deepened my feelings for Mike a thought occurred to me; the things I saw were pictures of Godly love. It wasn’t Mike telling me I’m beautiful (which is certainly nice and something he does all the time), it wasn’t him buying me things or even doing things for me, it was sacrificial love. It was watching him put the needs of someone else above his own needs, something he does very well. It was a God led love.
I believe to truly understand and experience love here on earth you have to know God’s love. Without his example of truly selfless love we would accept the world’s version of it. Their version comes and goes easily, it’s a twisted and tainted copy of what our creator intended. But when I see a glimmer of what God intended I want to hold on for dear life. It makes me long for heaven, a place where I can stand in his presence and experience true love at its fullest. I get to experience pieces of heaven here: admiring his creation as I stare at the ocean, meeting with him in a moment of worship, holding my children, walking beside my husband or reading his word. But my understanding is dim and my capability for love is limited. I can’t wait for the day with those limits are lifted and I can see him face to face!
Till then I will spend time with my savior, learning more everyday about his love. I will enjoy the pictures of his love he gave me in my children, family and friends. But specifically today I will watch my husband portray it clearer than I ever have and I will be thankful.