Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Love and Obstacles

The latest word in the One Word at a Time blog carnival is "love."

It was probably crazy of me to even think I could write anything useful about love. What an absurd notion. Me, writing about love.

I really don't know what love is, but when I think of love, I think of the human heart, in which are labyrinthine ways unknown to even the most self-aware among us.

And that's what makes love hard to write about. Think about. Say wise things about.

Which is to say that love--human love--is crazy and mixed up and when you try to speak of it or define it is like trying to grasp a will-o'-the-wisp in a hurricane.

And yet, to give you just one example, I know my wife loves me.

Crazy, but true.

I know she loves her boys in a way that will rock to the ground any obstacle that stands between her and them.

OK, so here's a definition--no, not a definition, but an indication--of love. It wars against all obstacles in the pursuit of the beloved.

Tragedy, all tragedy, is when the lover cannot reach the beloved, is not strong enough to overcome the obstacles.

But it gets more complicated, because the heart is involved, and as I said, the ways of the heart are labyrinthine, and it is possible to skew, to misdirect, even to poison love. The obstacles, in other words, often come from within.

See, I've made two big points without even trying. 1) Love, which comes from the heart, conquers obstacles. 2) Many times, the obstacles also come from the heart.

Tangled. Tangled is the way of a man or a woman when it comes to the human heart.

Third big point: None of us are really, really good at this.

If we were good at this--good at loving--Adam, for example, would have understood that any disobedience to the One who is the source and perfection of love would in fact be to place an obstacle between himself and that love. To part ways with it, and to condemn oneself to that separation (tragedy) until the Lover of his soul could conquer that obstacle at last.

But Adam didn't think of all that.

And because he didn't think of that, we have been heirs to Adam's entanglement ever since, putting up the selfsame obstacle between ourselves and the Lover.

The heirs of Adam find love a tangled way. Even in the best of us.

This is why we need a Lover in this world who will love us in a way so powerful and pure (and unentangled) that it overcomes every obstacle that we ourselves can throw against it.

And the thing is, He has done it.

He has loved us in just this obstacle-conquering way.

We love, if we love at all, because such a Lover has come, and has loved us first.

9 comments:

Glynn said...

I've reread this twice, and each time, I find more reasons to read it again. You're speaking some great truth here, my friend. Or God's speaking through you.

vanityofvanities said...

Yes, because He loved us first. Excellent!

Bridget Chumbley said...

"The heirs of Adam find love a tangled way. Even in the best of us."

Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing it with us.

M.L. Gallagher said...

Great Post! I'm with Glynn. Gotta read it again to glean more insight.

Thanks!

nAncY said...

beautiful

Candace Jean July 16 said...

You're so right - "None of us are really, really good at this." But you found a way to make me ok with that. Thank you, Bob.

~*Michelle*~ said...

"This is why we need a Lover in this world who will love us in a way so powerful and pure (and unentangled) that it overcomes every obstacle that we ourselves can throw against it."

Yea and Amen!

Great post.....filled with TRUTH!

Melinda Lancaster said...

"We love, if we love at all, because such a Lover has come, and has loved us first."

So true. Love begins with Him and is only possible through Him--for He is LOVE.

Blessings!

JoAnne Bennett said...

I liked your transparency and truthfulness as a husband and a father in your post on love. Never in the past have I given this much thought, even when I always try to write from the heart-- 1) Love, which comes from the heart, conquers obstacles. 2) Many times, the obstacles also come from the heart. Thanks for sharing your insight Bob from Portland, Maine. I am JoAnne from Portland, Oregon. :)