Love is a loaded word.
To use it too soon in romance
is to risk losing the romancee,
yet to use it too late is to do the same.
It’s carefully aimed and timed, like a precision bomb,
hoping to strike its target with such accuracy
that its powerful blow will shake their world
without causing unneeded collateral damage.
Love is an explosion.
Some call it hormonal science
while others consider it mystical.
Still others struggle to apply any such label
as its powers are far too great to define—
its blindness a blackhole of ineptitude
rendering solid bones into marrow,
and iron frowns into smiles.
For love needs no chisel—
it is all the tool necessary in-and-of-itself.
Love is the undefinable experience of holding a newborn,
and feeling the immense heaviness
of what a few pounds can really weigh.
Love is found not only in the essentiality
of feeding a child what they need to survive,
but also in the essentiality of staring at them while they sleep;
of covering a child with a blanket
to the delight of their subconscious smile.
Love is a force to be reckoned with
and surprisingly easy to confuse with hatred.
For hatred disguised as love can motivate kings and peasants into war
over concerns of both the utmost and the not-most—
with a hate that wields itself like a sentient sword
until the spilling of blood breaks the soldier out of their spell
to find they serve a villain masquerading as a hero.
Love is sometimes hard to identify
and sometimes easy to confuse with other rages.
It is both obvious and subliminal;
blatant and hidden;
discernible and confusing;
and the deep well from which lesser emotions mutate,
giving rise to both monster and muse.
Yes, love is a loaded word.
And because so many seek to define it by their experience
it’s no wonder we get confused.
For the dictionary of life offers 7.6 billion definitions,
each with their own thesaurus
that not only fly in the face of another’s experience,
but assault the very face of reason.
It is a complex word, notoriously difficult to nail down.
But that’s in part because love—as they say—is divine.
We come from it, we live in it, and we go to it.
It is defined not by the flesh but by a Spirit;
not by science, but by un-science.
And such definitions are rightly hard to craft—
for the creator is in many ways a mystery to the created;
able to be observed from afar, but not always understood.
But we are not therefore blind and lost,
for such observations show us all we need to know:
love is God and God is love,
and those who know God therefore know love.
We hold in our hands the one definition to rule them all.
All other definitions are antonyms at worst
and severely unable to encapsulate truth at best.
For love is an incorporeal spirit known as Yahweh
with a corporeal body known as Jesus—
both forms there in the beginning, speaking and breathing life—
the Spirit brooding over an egg about to crack,
giving way to a planetary construct of love
should all things go according to plan.
A race that knows love because it comes from love
and spends its energy renewing the earth with and in love.
Tiny mirrors of a great light,
reflecting the divine, not refracting it;
standing in the light and spreading its glory,
not lying dull and uninspired in the shade.
We exist out of desire because God is desire.
He does not need us for his own sake,
yet remains jealous for us in his great love.
He knows intimately the inner-working of our souls,
keeping track of every hair on our heads,
meticulously recounting to double, triple, and quadruple check,
knowing us better than any spouse or parent.
For he is both the ultimate spouse and parent—
the one whom the whole system shadows and foreshadows.
When we see love in one another,
we have laid eyes upon the divine in some way,
be it a dim reflection that reminds us
that our Heavenly Father is like this, but so much better;
Or a piercing beam of light upon our eyes that forces us
to raise our hand in both protection and worship
as the shape of God is burned into our retinas.
And as God reveals Himself to us in his sacred narrative
his shape is clearly formed in our mind’s eye;
for He creates out of love and then treats us with love.
He is the activist that frees us from slavery
and the judge who calls our enemies to account.
Yet unlike us, he is one who loves our enemies
just as much as he loves our friends;
just as much as he loves us.
His eye is on both the oppressed and the oppressor,
not withholding the essentials of life from hearts of darkness,
but taking care of them with a generous audacity.
He is a liberator and an enemy-lover,
a perfect judge with perfect verdicts
because of his perfect meticulousness.
He is patient and forgiving,
allowing former heinous sins
to be blotted from the record
of those who give their life to him;
crossed out in an ink crafted from his own veins.
He bit the bullet for all,
jumping in front of the machine gun fired by hate,
ammunition piercing his hands, feet and side—
not just so “good people” might live,
but so “bad people” might be convinced—
going so far as to win over the murderers who fired the guns,
saying “You are capable of this,
But I am capable of so much more.”
He is the spell-breaker—the curse-taker—
the immense light capable of overthrowing the blackhole of darkness,
shattering the thick ice of our arctic bodies,
to give way to the frozen souls underneath,
thawing us out of a zombie-like state
until color returns to our skin.
In His love, God makes Himself lowly and humble,
daring to hatch plans that no other divine being would ever dream of—
from putting on the lowliness of skin
to descending to the depths of the social ladder.
He becomes like a refugee to reach the refugees,
like a homeless man to reach the homeless,
like a slave to reach both slaves and their masters,
dining with the castaways and outcasts,
Not just out of love,
but to invest in advertising with the price of action.
“Focus the camera here,” he says.
“Zoom in and get a closer shot. I need them to see this.”
There he dines with unstigmatized sinners
and the stigmatized sinners all the same—
the religious, the unreligious, and the irreligious.
Some will leave the dining table coming to him
in the boldness of broad daylight;
others under the cover of night;
and perhaps others won’t come to him at all,
having just crashed the party for the magic of the moment.
But they are loved just the same;
as beams of light shoot out from His presence to feed their souls,
planting seeds of Heaven meant to emerge in due time as the Spirit waters.
Love has a true definition
and when we turn to the corporeal son of the incorporeal God
we see love as it truly is—
in its highest and most miraculous revelatory form.
Any other definition is a mere trifle,
written both by those who don’t know God,
and those who do but prefer to craft
the definition of love to their own design—
setting boundaries as to who can and can’t be loved.
Love is a loaded word.
It’s a force to be reckoned with.
It’s consistently hard to put into words,
And surprisingly easy to confuse with hate.
And so we must turn to the divine
and in doing so find that God is love and love is God—
that God loves both you and your enemy—
and that includes those of us who are our own worst enemy.
It is here that love calls us to repent and be loved
and here that we find the security of a love that doesn’t fail;
of a love that doesn’t give up;
and a love that remains unconditional.
It is here that a Trinitarian community warmly welcome us
not just to know what love is by definition—
but by experience.