I heard an ad on the radio today about the month of February being the month dedicated to "love". Actually, I saw the merchandise out in late December reminding me that soon there would come a day in February, a day where "love" is celebrated. I found it interesting that the Holy Father just published his first encyclical, which for all providential purposes, is about love. Now, i have not had a chance to read it yet, but I have a sneaky feeling that these 2 views on love differ greatly.
So, what is love? If I had a dollar for everytime I heard someone mention, "Love is about how you feel", you'd be suprised as to how much cash I would have! Now, those of you who are married are laughing right now, and I guess it surprises me how often I hear that myself, but it's true.
Our founder describes love as the "disposition to please the beloved". Love in all it's truest forms comes from God and is found in God. So we could say that true love is not found outside of God. We see God's disposition to "please" us in sending His Son for our salvation. In His desire to be one with us, to bridge the gap between heaven and earth, God sent us His Son. God, in all of His magnificence, seeks to be united with us. Why? because He loves us. He loved us first. He doesn't love us for what we do for Him, He just loves.
Lately, I have found that God has been teaching me a great lesson in this area. How do I love? Do I love those who love me? or do I seek to love and serve those who aren't too fond of me or would rather not have much to do with me? Do I serve people because they are children of God or do I serve them to get something in return? The results surprised me. How easy it is to serve when you get something in return BUT it is far more difficult to keep serving when you get no results at all or are even persecuted for your good intentions. Whew! tough!
Which leads me to think of how God feels. How often He gives to us with no return. He gives us all these gifts that we neither think of or notice, or even worse, complain about. Have you ever given someone a gift that they didn't acknowledge or complained about? It's happened to me. I went to the store and picked out something with that person in mind, lovingly wrapped it and took care to deliver it.....and received..... absolutlely NO response--no thank you, no mention of it at all, no nothing!!!! and I would get so offended. Imagine how God feels! and yet He keeps giving and giving, in His desire to love and please us.
He truly loves. He gives even though He knows that many will reject Him. How many of us love like that? So it is my prayer for the month of February, the month "dedicated to love" that God would continue to teach me how to love, so that my little, self-centered love runs out and His immense love takes over....