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Holding Forth The Word Of Life.

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The Word That Few People Really Understand

February 2008

     The strange fact about this word is that the people who have the least knowledge of its real meaning use it very freely and often. Radio programming overflows with music that either fantasizes or laments about it seeming quite elusive. It is thought about as something that people can fall into or out of very quickly. This month, February, even had a specific festivity attached to it on the fourteenth day. This word is love.
     If what I have said fits your experience of love, read on. Love in its real virtues has little connection to the connotations stated earlier. The father of lies, the evil one, has had astounding success in switching its real meaning to greatly inferior or even immoral implications. Infatuation and lust, with a broad array of physical focus shifts its real meaning from grandeur and beauty to sensation and sentiment, truly a sad exchange. To attach this heavenly word to the bawdy activity of Hollywood's themes violates it completely.
     What then is real love? First, it is an emotion that can be crystallized as saintly and holy, godlike and genuine. Real love is, in a sense, even sacred. It is far too precious to be acted out or reduced to a spectator's sport. It finds its value in its active appreciation for the object of its attraction.
     If you have observed a mother engrossed in love with her child of several months then you know what I mean. It is not as much what the child does for its mother as what the woman does and desires for the child. In its innocence and complete response to what is happening the pair experience the delightful satisfactions of love.
     From the same example a second truth is apparent. The mother's love has much greater meaning than the child's. Love, in its surest form, is focused on what it can give: it hardly ever considers what might come back in return. When the beauty of pleasing a beloved overrides personal wellbeing we begin to understand and experience love.
     These simple two thoughts combine in the golden text of the Bible, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life". Not what He gets, when we love Him, but what He gave to provide for our worthlessness is the essence of His divine love. And that models for all time and in all dimensions the real meaning of love.

- Tom Bender
   Kippen, ON
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