Love. Love. Love.

This post is rather long and full of quotes. Bear with me.

Sometimes, I like to listen to mellow music while I work. This means I can listen to a lot of love songs over the course of a day. There are a lot of different kinds of love in my ipod:

"My girl, linen and curls
Lips parting like a flag'll unfurl
She's grand, the bend of her hand
Digging deep into the sweep of the sand"
-the Decemberists

"and you were no picnic
you were no prize
but you had just enough pathos
to keep me hypnotized"
-Ani Difranco

"And if I could hold on
Through the tears and the laughter
Would it be beautiful?
Or just a beautiful disaster"
-Kelly Clarkson

"I turned around
before I could run
I found you already settled down
in the back of my mind"
-Alison Krauss

"I've got doubts I can't even count.
I've got mirrors that take me apart.
I've got blues, a melting revolt.
I've got songs that stall when they start.
I've got you babe.
Diamonds and pearls, babe.
I've got you girl, that's all I need."
-The Damnwells

"If you want a father for your child
Or only want to walk with me a while
Across the sand
I'm your man"
-Leonard Cohen

"I'll love you till heaven rips the stars from his coat
and the moon rows away in a glass bottom boat."
-Peter Mayer

There are a lot of love songs out there and I know that there are a lot of kinds of love. I'm pretty comfortable with a loving parent/child relationship with my Creator, but I know that doesn't work for everyone. That's okay, because God is all kinds of love.

"Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love."
1 John 4:7-8.

"Everyone who loves" is a strong statement. On the other hand, saying that knowing love and knowing God are the same thing seems overly simplistic. Especially when our culture has a great deal of trouble distinguishing between love and like:

Bianca: There's a difference between like and love. Because, I like my Skechers, but I love my Prada backpack.
Chastity: But I love my Skechers.
Bianca: That's because you don't have a Prada backpack.
-10 things I hate about you
Is it the act of love which makes us open to the knowledge of God? Are we to believe that the capacity for love is inherently human, something which each and every one of us is born with, just as each of us is born with an inherent knowledge of God?

I don't have the answers to these questions. All I know is that I know God in an intimate and yet limited fashion, just as I know love in an intimate and yet limited fashion. I know what it is to be loved and to love, both my neighbor and my God. Oh, and I know that those feelings are pretty awesome.

Elizabeth Bathurst

1 comment:

James Naylor said...

Love, ugh. Sometimes when I am going through an especially bitter, lonely, or heartbroken period in my life it seems like every song on the radio is about love and how great it is or how much we want it ‘cause it will obviously cure life of all its ills. When this happens I like to play a game with myself to see if there is a way that the love in the song could be about love for God or God’s Love for us. There are some obvious songs that are really only about sex and/or lust (but too often are thought of as “love”) and I just don’t think I could ever find a way to apply that to love of the Divine (having God present in carnal relationships is good however). And I have to say that my favorite for dual categorization was written by Steve Goodman and John Prine:

It was that all I could do to keep from crying/Sometimes it seems so useless to remain/You are the one who always tried to change me/That is why I will always stay the same

And I will hang around as long as you will let me/I never minded standing in the rain/You don’t have to call me darling, darling/
But you never even called me by my name

It aptly sums up both my spiritual life and my love life.