November 19, 2009


Isn't it amazing, that word?
Sometimes I see it and think it's cliche.
By itself it looks a little weak, another Christianese word that people use all the time. Love one another, love the Lord, we're trying to love people, let's make our words communicate love, use love-on as a verb, etc. etc. etc.

But then... sometimes I see it in sentence and am struck by it. Serfy, I hope you don't mind if I use you as an example. In Serfy's status today: "did I ever tell you I love underclassmen? :) <3" Something inside of me starts gushing about it.
It rings around in my mind. Oh, how wonderful that people in this world care for each other and have friendships and attachments!

Then other times I use it without really thinking. "I love my philosophy professor." "I love Switchfoot." "I love art." I love this, I love that. So, it's just another overused word of my own excitement. It's strange for me to think about how the sentence sounds when I turn it around, somehow rearranging words helps me see meaning better sometimes. Why do I love my philosophy professor?
Do I really mean it? Can I mean it? How can I say I love someone who I really don't know all that well? Even people who I do care about, how can I claim it?

And then I think about romantic love. Part of it is related to the cheesy romantic songs I sometimes hear. But I don't mean love in that way, that's cliche. Or maybe it's not even romantic love that I'm thinking about? I don't know. But the word "love" sometimes just thrills me. It's something that I can only describe in metaphors, and continually circle around, never getting into... I think of passion and longing for another human soul... It's like the warmth of being close to someone in heart or in body or both, combined with the shivers that only occasionally pass through me when I think about the newness and strangeness of it all. Now this is degenerating into nonsense, see description about love is very hard. I seem to try to keep attempting it in my novel, because the idea is so enchanting. And part of myself stands to the side cynically, telling me I'm being emotional and overly dreamy. But what if I tell that side to shut up just for a little bit, and listen to the plaintive music of oh, I don't know, dreamers and lovers everywhere? I imagine lying on the wide empty grass underneath the living tapestry of the stars with the love of my life and having him whisper softly, I love you.
How can you argue with emotion? It seems it would fill you and enrich you and warm you all at once. And this, too, is what I have felt at times in the presence of the Almighty God, a love that overwhelms me and fills me with love for you. A love that gives me contentment and comfort and strength, and a compassion and desire to reach out to the people around me.

I want to tell people everywhere that I love them, but sometimes the only accurate thing to say is HE loves you and I am only here to tell you. None of my love is my own.

And then.... after the stars and their sparkling glory fade, after my stirred soul settles, after the feeling grows dull... Love becomes once again a solid thing, a commitment, a responsibility, something that I fear I have no ability or right to be bearing or showing to others. It becomes a hard thing that I seem to not be able to put into practice. Is it love if I don't feel it enrapture my soul?

Even though I try to describe Love in senses and abstractions (which I sometimes have a hard time distinguishing, it's all very confusing) I still have so little practical understanding of what it means, or who Love is.

I wonder if that is a question that can only be answered by living life with Him, with him as our every breath.

I'm off to write more now, writing fiction that is less about people or plot than it is about ideas. And, (dare I say it? if I don't even know what it means?) ... I love you all.

...and see, it seems weak now, only like a random sign off, not like a statement that people have died for, or a promise that has brought people to life. I suppose I want to let the word have the power that the person has. Oh language, so representative and limited. Oh language, for allowing us to communicate with other human beings even if its only if its as fuzzy as shadows cast on walls, of fingers signing in sign language...


Echoes in Ink said...

But people have died for it. Every crusader of a noble cause died in the name of love. Perhaps called by another name, whether freedom, or equality, or human rights. The only stories worth telling are love stories - not the sappy boy-meets-girl fables that are empty emotion, but the true, pure honey-rich reality that is God - emotion and thought and idea and rationality all in one.

I love this post. And I love you too, my dear.

Michael said...

"There is no sound louder than love."

I really really enjoyed this post, and, it describes so blunderingly the bulderingness of defining love, and what it is, and what it ought to be.

" not the sappy boy-meets-girl fables that are empty emotion" . . . I disagree with this, I think those stories are worth telling, because I don't think emotion is empty, and I think that emotional love is real and matters, and that God created it TO matter.

Anyway, Now I feel like I OUGHT to say more because so much more is running through my head, but I think I'm done.

(The word verification I have to type in is "Hurtin" Like "i'm really hurtin' today" :P)

Eunice said...

I imagine lying on the wide empty grass underneath the living tapestry of the stars with the love of my life and having him whisper softly, I love you.

A beautifully described sentiment - it comes alive for me!

Lis said...


(I did it! :P )

hummmmm Cher? See. This is why I usually don't...

:tries again:

I love you