What does love look like?
March 13, 2016
We all know it when we see it: parents and children, spouses, friends, even strangers caring for, reaching out to, and helping one another. This is love in action. It has many different expressions: tenderness, assistance, listening, protecting, cherishing, comforting, aiding, lifting. The list is long and we each could add many words to it.
And because we know what it looks like, we know when it’s missing too.
What can be done about that?
Is it really missing? If God is Love as the Bible says (1st John 4:8), and God fills all space (Deut 4:39), also as the Bible says, how could love really be missing? What is actually missing is our recognition of it.
If our premise is that Love is everywhere, we will expect to see it, expect to know it, right where it seems to be missing. When it seems impossible to see love – in a disaster, or a sick room, or a political rally – close your eyes to the picture and open your heart to the reality of Love’s ever presence. Don’t let go of Love until you are convinced that even right there in the thick of unloveliness, Love is at work. Quietly. Safely. Permanently.
This is what Jesus did. His conviction of the power and presence of Love enabled him to pass through an angry crowd unharmed (Luke 4:29,30); to raise to life the daughter of parents engulfed in sorrow (Mark 5:42); to feed a multitude too hungry and tired to fend for themselves (Matt 14:20); and the greatest example of Love at work, to resurrect himself from the grave (John 20:17) to prove that even there Love prevails.
These were not just isolated instances. The Gospels are filled with stories of Love overcoming misery and despair. And even after Jesus’ ascension, his disciples, and their disciples, and their disciples after that, continued to prove the healing and saving power of love right where love seemed to be missing.
And we can do the same today.
It doesn’t require any special power or even any religious affiliation. It simply is a matter of holding in thought that love is stronger than hate, that it casts out fear, that it soothes and comforts. Even in the face of that which is definitely not love.
Doing so introduces a new possibility into the mix, one not so convinced of the ugliness or sadness or terror. That little glimmer of hope actually begins to reveal how love has been at work, quietly under the surface – but there all along.
When you look for it, you see it. And rather than being aghast at its absence you will see its curative power gently dissolving every unloveliness.
Yes, it requires effort. Yes, it requires consistency. Yes, it even requires faith – faith that one person can make a difference. But isn’t that better than the alternatives of hopelessness or indifference?
Divine Love is here. Hold your ground in expectation that you can see it at work. And then look for evidence of your conviction.
I guarantee that you will not be disappointed. For Love is loving you too.
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link. If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.