what is it to love, but to allow ourselves to be seen, shorn of our masks and pretences, in a state of vulnerability and brokenness?
thus today's Gospel readings set the tone, they state in no uncertain terms the 2 Greatest Commandments -
You shall love the Lord, Your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.
You shall love your neighbour as yourself.
a lot has been said about love being kindness and other acts of charity, but today it struck me, during the NUS CSS Law CG meeting this afternoon that love is also about allowing ourselves to be vulnerable before the one we love best.
it's counter-intuitive, going against our finely built sense of self-preservation - we keep our distance and pretend because nothing hurts as badly as allowing someone to come close only to have them betray us and let us down.
now, i ask you, have you done the same to God? have you pretended to be whole and strong before Him? or kept a respectful distance, convincing yourself that this was reverent but that you were really uncomfortable with drawing closer because yes, your head knows He loves you, but your heart has seen and felt the effects of unanswered prayer, the many things wrong with this world which seem to go on unpunished, the sin and evil that still fester, within and without you - and this is something you struggle with, trying not to consider it a disappointment from God.
to love God in the light of His greatness - not for what He might give you or your fears of damnation but simply for who He is, this calls for an act of faith which is then the impetus for our poor little love for Him to grow. drawing closer means letting Him and you yourself see who you really are - and when push comes to shove, how many of us truly know ourselves in the light of His love? do we dare to?
or would you rather continue, hiding away behind your seeming respect, that you consider Him a King or Prime Minister ruling a distant land, and He has His affairs and you yours? And you continue sending in your petitions with all the fervour of a nameless citizen asking for basic amenities from the Power That Is, without ever entering into His domain with the confidence of a son or daughter?
if we are to love, if we are to be vulnerable, let us remember, He loved us first, and He made Himself weak for our sakes first.