Sunday, September 7, 2008

Love isn’t Blind, Either

Infatuation is blind. Lust is blind. But true Love is clear-eyed. In fact, Love sees a great deal more, and better, than we can see without it. That's why the saints are sometimes clairvoyant.

True Love does not depend upon anything about the beloved, but expresses the character of the lover. That is what makes it possible for us to love our enemies, to bless those who curse us and pray for those who abuse us. We do not have to pretend our enemies are our friends in order to love them. We do not have to pretend Islam is a religion of peace before we love Muslims. We can give Valentines to children in our class at school who aren't very nice.

Love demonstrates something about the lover, rather than the beloved. That is why God “is kind unto the unthankful and the evil.” (Luke 6:35), and makes the blessings of His rain and His sunshine to fall upon the just and the unjust alike. (Matthew 5:45) That is why Christ died for us while we were yet sinners. (Romans 5:8)

God does not need to blind Himself to our sinfulness in order to love us. He does not need slick legal maneuvering to allow Him to deal with us graciously. He does not pretend we are righteous although we are not; He loves us all infinitely. God the Father does not love us only “for Christ’s sake,” as we so often hear, if that phrase means, “only in view of the Crucifixion.” God does not blind Himself to our true condition. ( Nor would we want Him to, for then how could He help us overcome it?) God loves us, tenderly, infinitely, in whatever condition He finds us. Jesus does not have to be tortured and killed to induce God to be well-disposed to us; He already was, unconditionally, all along.