What LOVE is
As much as I talk about LOVE you’d think February was my favorite month. I don’t think I have a favorite month? I seem to get along pretty well with all the months, and, here, each one has something different to offer! That’s different from Southern California, for sure.
But, let’s use February to talk about LOVE anyway! I suppose there are a few biblical references to the type of romantic love that Valentine’s Day seems to uphold, but the LOVE we talk about at St. John’s is a little different. It’s an embodied LOVE that supports the good—the well-being of the other—another human, another creature, or creation. There’s an inter-dependence to biblical LOVE that’s embodied. It’s not the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” stuff we adore in the Intermountain West.
It’s also not a transaction. It’s not “this for that.” Sometimes I think it’s easier to start with the “what it’s NOT!”
So, what does that LOVE look like that Jesus keeps talking about, that the story of the biblical text keeps hoping we’d try on? I think it’s a bit of a dance. It’s something that’s almost choreographed where each is responding to the need and the action of the other. The LOVE is lived out on a stage full of dancers, and yet each individual is nearly lost into the whole of the production. It’s connected and cooperative. It flows, too. Each component needs a measure of what the other has to offer, no matter the size or strength of the other in comparison. How’s that for abstract?
That’s a description of sorts, I suppose. But, what if you’re looking for a way in? What if you want to have some measure of understanding around this abstract concept of LOVE so that it can deliver? Well, try it on! How? Don’t think about it too much. Just DO LOVING THINGS. Embody it! A coat for someone who’s cold? Yup. That’s it. Full attention and eye contact when listening to a friend share a struggle. Comforting a child who’s had a rough day. Of course there are endless ways to LOVE. Maybe we spend a little extra attention and discipline this February, so that we can deliver an extra dose!