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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Love Realized

Mankind is quick to proclaim love then inflate it in an attempt to cause the recipient of said love to believe that this love is different from all others. Both males and females are guilty of doing this. Our infatuation with the thought of another person becoming vulnerable to our emotion is a great boost to our ego.
Inez Reilly
We consider the immediate present, cast the moment across time and create a blanket of here and now into eternity. “My big love, dissimilar from anything you have ever experienced, will last forever. You can count on it when you can count on nothing else.” This statement, we hope, will elicit a trust to rival that of mother and newborn child. In our minds, it is true; albeit tied to this precise and particular moment. And, yes, there are times when we can stretch and lengthen that minute into times – equaling to hours, days and even years.
We move from this span of time to the next thriving and surviving off of our grandiose infatuation. Can it really be called love until it is tested? Is it possible to love someone without questioning motives and intentions in an attempt to know them in a way that no one else does? Is love birthed or does it evolve? Is it one thing, and then go through a metamorphosis to become real love? Metamorphosis is a profound change from one stage to the next.  It is a complete change of form, structure, or substance; a transformation. Love is created through the process of morphing from stage to stage, moment to moment, and time to time.
Love is patient and patience is developed through trials and experiences. It grows and magnifies as the opportunity to exercise it presents itself. There are situations that require less patience than another. Thus, this characteristic of love is expanded and stretched over time. In true love there is no breaking point. The elasticity of love never remains brittle; it grows ever stronger as it moves from fire to fire. When one fire creates a frailty another fire is needed to realign the DNA makeup of it. Whenever this phenomenon is experienced, some “love” experience fractures. It is in this moment that conditions are realized. To give the benefit of the doubt, most proclamations of unconditional love are perceived as true – and it is, within the confines of that particular moment. It isn’t until patience is worn thin, without the effort to reinforce it, that a realization of limitations is exposed.
Love does not hunt for its own way; it is not self-seeking. In our society, this characteristic of love is not fostered. We are conditioned to embrace the “What about me?” or “What have you done for me, lately?” state of mind. Western civilization has thrived off of looking to please oneself and sometimes to the hurt of those we say we love. Again, we can stave off (or hide) this stipulation for a period of time. However, if we feel like we are giving more than we are getting then we feel an innate compulsion to find ways to “do me.” Our love for material things often cause us to ignore the things that we need the most to survive as loving beings. A new dawning appears as we consider what we are lacking, without grasping hold of the wealth of humanity-laden needs that are being met. I am not talking about those situations where the basic financial necessities are being withheld. There is a safety in knowing that bills can be paid, food put on the table, and a roof over ones head. People need to feel safe. I am referring to the fluff – the pomp and circumstance that is visible to the outside world. This is where most of us draw the line, so to speak. When we begin to believe that if others cannot witness this love, in a manner that is visible to the naked eye, then ‘love’ grows cold and dies (like a neglected fire in a fireplace).
God has given us a blueprint that allows us to measure our claims to love. 1 Corinthians 13 is a real example of unconditional love; love that never fails or remains thin and brittle. It is stretched, but never breaks. It is strengthened in the same furnace that creates weakness. Real love becomes malleable through tests and trials so it can be shaped in a manner that prepares it for what is to come. Once it has been re-shaped, heat is needed to strengthen it for its new purpose.
It may be of great benefit to understand that true love is created through transformation. In the beginning, we are intrigued with the promise that is held within fascination. In order for it to blossom and morph into God’s definition of love, we have to embrace the process. Just as a caterpillar move through the hidden pupa stage in order to emerge as a butterfly, thus is love. As metal is forged into its finished product through the process of heating, cooling and re-heating, love grows stronger as it endures the fiery kiln of difficulty. This is when we realize any conditions that were hidden from view. It is here that we are faced with our personal commitment to our profession of love; where we surrender to the process that produces a profound change – love that does not wax cold.