Saturday, February 23, 2008

dreamer I: radical love

What does it mean to love radically?

Let's start with love. What is love? My favorite definition of love comes from M. Scott Peck's The Road Less Travelled--"to love" means to actively work toward the emotional and spiritual well-being of another human being. This is specifically human and specifically active. Love is a verb, folks, no buts about it. I think we can tell when we are loving someone in this way because we become more aware of their needs and have an irresistible desire to help them become the best "themselves" they can be. So that's human love.

But to love radically? How is this different? Loving another human being to the point where you desire to aid in their happiness seems radical enough. Working toward another person's personhood is fantastic and possibly even "radical," but working toward another person's divinity is going to be the dividing point between really awesome love and totally radical love. And what is this divinity, you ask? I do not mean divinity in the sense that some do, that each of us has a little bit of God in us. I don't believe that is true. When I say we need to recognize someone's divinity, it really means that we need to attempt to look at others through God's eyes. Loving radically requires us to step even more outside ourselves to look at everyone--our friends, family, enemies, the rejected of society--and try to see them as God sees them. With this view, we must then begin to perform actions directed toward others' well-being as the beloved created of God.

Loving others consistently and faithfully is something that I have been trying to do better, but I have been failing miserably. Let us all pray for each other that we might be more inclined to love our neighbors by trying to look at them through the eyes of God.


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