Sunday, June 26, 2011

Love Is Enough

Have you ever read stories about people who are profoundly in love but never allowed to be together? You know the type-- the depressing tales of star crossed lovers?  It's as if time has a place for everyone but them.  I read a portion of a story recently about a man and woman who fell in love under seemingly impossible circumstances, and when hope met despair, the latter reigned victoriously.  They regretfully parted ways and mapped out a new life deliberately absent of the other.  Ten years later, their paths crossed again.  "Does she still love me? Did she ever love me?" he questioned as he reflected over the great passage of time.  He discovered that she did.  Not even a decade had changed that, and she came to realize that his for her had also not diminished.  His love for her was as great then as it had been ten years earlier.  With a love so strong, it seemed as though time was calling them both home to the same place, yet a new set of impossibilities had grown over the years, leaving room for only another goodbye.  It didn't seem to make sense, and certainly felt tragically unfair.  How could God allow two people to love each other so intensely, yet forever banish from them the right to live out that love together?   I find these to be the most grievous love stories, but maybe I have it all wrong, and maybe the story doesn't need to be re-written.  Maybe love is enough?

 I don't particularly like love stories like Romeo and Juliet that end tragically, and I dislike even more the ones that end as the story I mentioned above seems to end.  After 10 years, this man and woman, whose love remained strong, still couldn't connect with time's blessing.  Instead, they each were forced to bury deep inside of themselves, the love they had for the other, knowing all too well that it would never be removed from their hearts.  As he went his way and she hers, they both were faced with letting go once again.  It was devastating ten years ago and this time proved no less heartbreaking, but they said their final goodbye and moved painstakingly forward into a future without the other.  I stopped reading the story at this point because I didn't want to read another chapter out of their lives that left them longing for each other in vain.  Why couldn't they just throw caution to to wind and take whatever steps necessary to be together?  Shouldn't a love like theirs have a chance?

Helen Keller once said the following: "What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.  All that we love deeply becomes a part of us."  If this is true, and I believe it is, then a love like theirs means they haven't missed anything at all, including a chance.  They have the chance to love each other everyday, even if only from afar and from within the depths of their souls.  Sometimes, albeit the most painful, this is the most beautiful kind of love - the kind that loves so deeply and so completely that it actually lets go for a greater good.  (John 3:16).   The characters in this story may never be physically together, but their hearts are connected in love, and love is enough. Sometimes we just need to let it be instead of trying to contort it into what we think it should look like. What a precious gift that God gave these star crossed lovers - the gift of love, for them to keep with them wherever they go.  If they have love, does it really matter that time forbids their union?  More importantly, is it really that heartbreaking, or do we just make it heartbreaking because it isn't shaped how we want?  Is not true love a beautiful gift, even if disjoined across time and space? God often does things in a way that makes us question His love for us, but God is love and everything He wants for us is rooted in that.  To say that love isn't enough is to say that God isn't enough, but we know differently.  He is exceedingly above, beyond, and more than enough.  Because God is love (1 John 4:8), then we know that love doesn't fail.  People fail, people burn out, and people quit.  Love never fails,  love never burns out, and love never quits.  It can't because it's God.   

If you've lost someone you love, remember that you haven't lost the love.  It's always in your heart, so look no further.  If you've been hurt by someone you love, don't focus on the pain so much that you lose sight of who it was who hurt you. Was it not someone you love?  Focus on the love you feel for them rather than pain they caused you. Forgive and move forward.  If you're going through a divorce, part amicably.  If it was love that brought you together, then let not hatred tear you apart.  You loved each other once, so love again as you part ways, and if possible let love bring you back together.  If you want to feel close to God, let His love pour out through you to someone else - even if you have to love from another world.  Open your window at night and look out at the stars.  Somewhere, miles away, underneath the same sky is someone who loves you with every ounce of his/her being. You are loved more than you could possibly know, and that is beautiful. That is enough.

"When you love you should not say, 'God is in my heart,' but rather, 'I am in the heart of God.'  And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course." --Khalil Gibran

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8

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