DayBreaks for 12/05/19: This is God’s Love
Yesterday I wrote about loving Jesus. It’s something that I’m working on…and I hope I will never stop working on it. We don’t have to love Him from afar, you know. He is within us by the Spirit, closer than our own next breath. I know my love for Him will never be perfect in this world for there will always be siren songs to lure my heart to other shores that would shipwreck my life if I listen to them. I am so thankful that He is so patient and is helping me to learn to love Him more as time passes.
So much for human love. It was Frederick Beuchner, writing in The Magnificent Defeat, who probed the nature of human and Divine love. “The love for equals is a human thing – of friend for friend, brother for brother. It is to love what is loving and lovely. The world smiles. The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing – the love for those who suffer, for those who are poor, the sick, the failures, the unlovely. This is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world. The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing – to love those who succeed where we fail, to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice, the love of the poor for the rich, of the black man for the white man. The world is always bewildered by its saints. And then there is the love for the enemy – love for the one who does not love you but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain. The tortured’s love for the torturer. This is God’s love. It conquers the world.”
We might be tempted to think that we are the tortured – and that God is the Cosmic Torturer. Isn’t that the logical conclusion of those who blame God for all the pain and suffering not only in the world but in their own lives? It’s God’s fault that the earth shook beneath Sumatra and a hundred thousand died. It’s God’s fault that Katrina killed 1300 in Louisiana and the gulf coast. It’s God’s fault that a husband or wife or child got cancer. God is a torturer of poor and helpless beings He created – and who knows why? That’s the way many see God.
The truth is that God didn’t do any of those things. The truth is that God is indeed the Tortured – not the torturer, and mankind is the torturer – not the tortured. We tortured Christ on the cross. We torture the loving heart of God with our actions that betray Him. We are clearly the torturers – and yet, God’s love is that of the tortured for those who are torturing Him, even today.
Will God’s love conquer the world in the long run? Yes. We have His word on it. Saint Paul said that there would be three things that remain when it is all said and done: faith, hope and love – with love being the greatest of the three. The world won’t survive – at least not in the form it presently exists – but the love of God goes on forever and from which we can never be separated (Rom. 8:39).
PRAYER: Merciful and loving Father, thank You for loving us even as we have driven nails into Your hands and feet, spears into Your side, and daggers of pain into Your loving heart. Have mercy on us and thank You for Your unending love. May we come to love the world with the same love You have given to us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>