Sunday, May 22, 2011

love as we know it

I am convinced that the core of the human heart contains an inherent desire to be known. This need is independent of culture, class, wealth, religion and race. The entire basis of social interaction rests upon this compulsion and every relationship exists in its pursuit. To strangers, we express ourselves with what we wear, what we drive, where we are seen. To acquaintances, we express ourselves with shared interests, favorite books and movies, with knowledge. As friends, we share inside jokes, experiences, and struggles. As spouses, we share everything. The more intimate the relationship, the more we allow ourselves to be known. The more we allow ourselves to be known, the more potentially satisfying the relationship.

Love as we know it balances between being known and being accepted. We are ever gauging whether or not we will be accepted for what we reveal. As imperfect and sometimes ugly people, there is always a fear that we will lose the acceptance of our friends, family, coworkers, etc. Our past, our flaws, our weirdness, are sources of shame to be hidden from the world. We hide behind attractive masks so no one else would know how we really look. Yet what resides in the dark recesses of our hearts yearns to be brought into light. The pinnacle of human relationship is one in which sinful people fully understand and fully accept each other in all their ugliness.

Still, there are physical limits to crawling inside the skin of another. Only in a divine relationship can we be fully known inside and out. Only in a divine relationship can we be fully loved under the light of our faults. But only in a divine relationship do we have to relate from opposite sides of heaven. Anyone who has wrestled with God understands both the potential satisfaction and terrible difficulty in being loved by Him.
“I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
Isaiah 6:5

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