We’re all trying to find it—it being that thing called love. Love. The English language only has one word for it. Ancient Greek has four, Italian has five, Arabic has more than a dozen.
We live life secretly hoping to happen upon it. We want to be known, completely, and to be accepted wholeheartedly anyway. To some, love is a feeling that comes like an onslaught of the flu, passionate but passing, contagious but ultimately forgotten.
But love is not just romance. We come into the world kicking and screaming, immediately wanting someone to tell us "it’s OK," that we’ll be safe. Our mothers and fathers, whom we cling to so desperately, are so quickly taken for granted. Theirs is perhaps the truest love of all, the love that gives but does not always get in return. For years we live under the tireless protection of our fathers, the tender care of our mothers, and then we pack up our bags and stomp away to begin our own stumbling journey through the world.
We happen upon the intoxication of friends, of distractions, of happy times, whatever those may be. We try to fill our days with smiles and good memories, hoping to find the finer spice of life.
But, of course, the heart that was formerly tenderly cared for by our mothers gets broken at least once. At least once it is handled with careless hands and then casually tossed to the side when the sunshine begins to fade. No one can deny that he or she has not felt that stabbing pain at least once. The heart is a delicate thing; and the wounds that seem to heal leave scars that run deep.
The craving for love is channeled into the wholesomeness of work, of ambition. Perhaps enough success can erase a little pain. Perhaps the world will say, "Yes, you do matter." And "Yes, you are someone!" And then the credits roll and life is just one big parade of greatness ever after.
Alas, no one is spared from at least a little failure, not even those who are disgustingly talented. And the emptiness returns like a bad stomachache.
But the earth is full of adventure, and with itching feet we move onwards to the unknown. There are caves of doubt and pools of sin. Just try putting one foot in the water, and it sucks you inward. Oh but it feels good for a time. For a time—it can quench any thirst.
There are consequences. There were consequences from the first bite of forbidden fruit. They may hide, and hide well, for a while. Eventually, however, they appear to collect their debts, and show no mercy.
"Why is it that they are so messed up?" We ask of the world around us, while sipping the wine of pride. We put on our nice clothes to hide the darkness which lurks in our own hearts, hoping that rules and good deeds can justify us. "Surely my small sin is not as great as his!"
But we are all equal, sharing in this panic, looking for love.
Perhaps love can be found in the symmetry of beauty, in the sensibility of logic. Perhaps our minds can redeem us, and find the greater meaning in this disjointed puzzle.
Or perhaps it all means nothing. Nothing at all. It is all just a great illusion. Question marks can taint the dreams of any human. The skies can become overcast with the gray clouds of doubt.
We all walk through the Valley of the Shadow. We feel the loneliness, and sometimes it can overwhelm. Friends fail, our fine clothes grow ragged, our wandering feet become weary, because not even the greatest thing in this world can satisfy our raging hearts.
We run to and fro. We pout, undignified. We sleep, the sleep that hopes to forget.
Sometimes "we" becomes "I."
I … am alone. No fellow traveler can heal me, nothing can fill me, no distraction can soothe this solitary soul. I stand, naked, before my creator. Nothing can hide me, not even the slime of my own mistakes.
There comes a time when you can only run so far from Love. And then, he catches you. Love is not what you think. No one can fathom His ways. Oh, we would like to. But Love is the greatest mystery known to man, the most unstoppable force. God is Love. God is Holy. God—we cannot understand Him.
He is the love for which the world looks. The love for which the world desires. We look for Him in a thousand ways, in a thousand places! He is not a feeling, or a philosophy, or an idea. He is the only one who matters.
We must pursue Him, because He has pursued us. He chases us in the darkest times, in the silence. We wonder what Love is, but there He stands. His love does not change, His love does not stop. In our most unworthy times, He is there—with His undying, unconditional acceptance—reckless, even.
We have scorned Him in every way. Each day we bring Him fresh disappointment. Too many days we have turned our backs on Him, ignoring His words. Unworthy, we break His heart. But always, He accepts, casting our faults as far as the east is from the west.
We will never love, real love, until we have received His. We will never live life more than empty, unless we live life following Him. Sometimes faith may feel blind, the dance unsure, as He takes the lead. But through it all, we must listen to the whisper that says, "Trust me."