Thursday, July 12, 2007
Often we confuse unconditional love with unconditional acceptance. Nowhere is this more profoundly seen than in relationship whether it be our relationship with God, ourselves or others. The parent/child relationship is a powerful example . Are we not often like naughty children who treat each other poorly, test boundaries and push hard to see if our parent will still love us no matter what we do? We test the boundaries of love to see if acceptance will still follow. Henri Nouwen says, “It is important for us to hold on to the truth that God never gives up loving us even when God is saddened by what we do.” No matter how hard we push God is there for us loving without condition.
Being the parent of two strong-willed teenagers brings this truth to light daily for me. Do I love my children? Absolutely! Do I love and accept their choices and behaviors? Not always! However, I can accept (when thinking clearly ☺)that the choices are theirs to make just as we have free will to choose our own path.
Does God love us without condition? You bet! And, I am certain there is sadness when I forget the beautiful core of my being and respond to the world in an unlovely manner. Whether I recognize it in the moment, the sadness is carried within me for I am created to respond out of love rather than fear and hatred. The key is finding the resonance between our actions and our soul. Scripture gives us the recipe.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Luke 10:27
I return again and again to this passage. It is simple. It is pure. It is truth. It is the key to unconditional love. I will share more on this “key” in subsequent posts.
For today, spread a little love with others and with yourself…preferably without condition ☺.
madonna image from here