“We have to restore the meaning of the word 'love.' We have been using it in a careless way. When we say, 'I love hamburgers,' we are not talking about love. We are talking about our appetite, our desire for hamburgers. We should not dramatize our speech and misuse words like that. We make words like 'love' sick that way. We have to make an effort to heal our language by using words carefully.” — Thich Nhat Hahn
Jesus is God, and God is Love. So if we replace “love” with “Jesus” in this passage from the Apostle Paul, here is what we get (English Standard Version):
“There is no word in our language which has been so much misused and prostituted as the word love . . . It has been made so empty that for many people love may mean no more than that two people have lived together for twenty years just without fighting more often than once a week.” — Erich Fromm
What does love look like?
Buying your wife flowers on a whim?
Loaning your car to a friend in need?
Calling your grandmother just to ask about her day?
Paying for the groceries of the single mother behind you in line?
"You can have the other words: chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I'll take grace. I don't know what it is exactly, but I'll take it. " — Mary Oliver
Jenny hunches over the crib, using her hands to spread her eyes wide so they’re comically large. “I’m gonna give myself wrinkles before my time,” she whispers as she contorts her eyebrows up and stretches her cheeks into a fish-face, wiggling her fingers with her thumbs in her ears.
““A man who loves others based solely on how they make him feel, or what they do for him, is really not loving others at all - but loving only himself.” — Criss Jami
Looking at their track records, Jesus really didn’t do such a great job of picking his followers . . . or did He?
Who really expects love to deliver anymore? We hear the word everywhere, but we also see the reality in the same places.
A girl seeing someone was asked if she’d consider a date with someone else. She replied, “He’s not my boyfriend, but I don’t want to jeopardize anything.”
Viktor Frankl describes the experience of nakedness in Auschwitz, a World War II Nazi concentration camp. When he had nothing – truly nothing – death no longer held fear over him.
By this time, he had lost his family, his career, his strength, his money, his possessions, his house, his clothing and his identity. The Nazis reduced him to a walking skeleton who answered to a number. Only then could he face death without wincing, knowing he had nothing to lose.