October 19, 2013

the love you deserve

“If you have to fight for anyone’s love, that’s not the one you deserve.”

These are blue typewriter-fonted words that are stamped sloppily onto faux-aged notebook paper background and pinned fiercely on Pinterest. All criticism on syntax aside, this statement perturbs me.

Maybe I am taking this wrongly. Perhaps they are imagining a scenario different from what comes to my mind. However, we come under this notion that Love, true, real, amazing love between humans should be easy. We should fall right into love simply, right? If we do not experience this, it is not right, we shouldn't have to work this hard for a love story or a friendship.

This is not my experience. In fact, some of my best friendships have been fought for. I fight to break through people’s walls because I care enough to take my awkward, unwieldy sledgehammer of love and bust through their invisible firmaments. I had to fight for their love. Fight to get to the real person inside. I sacrificed my comfort zone, sacrificed my pride, and sacrificed my time to what sometimes felt like a fruitless effort. Kind of like hitting the Great Wall of China with a little plastic hammer...

I am not saying I am great at loving people all the time. I am not saying that my example is one to follow in all respects. What I am saying is that true love is sacrifice.

True love is sacrifice. Let that sink in.

After all, what defined love better than the One who sacrificed Himself for us? Does He not fight for our love? If the above quote were true about anyone, it is God alone. He does not deserve such poor and flaky love as ours. Yet He fights for us. 

This day and age is one where sacrifice is almost universally unacceptable. “If it was fair, I would not have to give up anything. ever.” Few people are willing to sacrifice their time, their money, themselves. We have to have it all. 

What we don’t realize is that we are always sacrificing something. In this case, in our gluttony and laziness, we are sacrificing the opportunity to sacrifice. The opportunity to be gift for another person, and the opportunity to live better, to live selflessly, more joyfully. We are sacrificing joy. We are sacrificing the courage to live bravely. "Anything requiring hard work or a fight, is not worth my time," we think. 

Oh, but if we knew what fighting for someone or something did to our relationships. I am fighting for my faith every moment. If I was not fighting for it, I would not be growing. How much dearer my faith is in times such as these. 

Still, I am as, if not more, guilty of living in relational gluttony and sloth as anyone. I am a coward, and sacrificing my comfort zone is rarely an option.

Let me tell you, it only makes me miserable.

Ah, if only I could let myself be brave, I know not what I could do! If I relied on the courage of the One who has painted the brilliant autumn fires, what He could do in me! Ah, but I hide in grey, let fear draw a cloak of clouds about me, the mist obscuring any sight of the border of my comfort. He has much left to do in me. But ah, He has done so much in me.

I hope I can learn what I must sacrifice, and learn what freedom, what joy, and what beauty sacrifice brings to life. I am so loved. If I truly believed that every moment, I would love more. What is love? Sacrifice. Want to live a life of sacrifice? Remember how we have been loved, deeply, intimately, wholly. Understood and loved. So loved. 

O God, You have searched me and known me. 
You know when I sit down and when I rise up,
You understand my thoughts from afar,
You are acquainted with all my ways. {from Psalm 139}

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