Standing in the shower the other day, I was thinking. (Not that unusual, I think way too much). Anyway, I was thinking about my kids, and love, and how much I love them . . . so much that sometimes I think my heart will burst for it. Love so strong, and hard and fierce it hurts, literally hurts my heart. That, however, is not the point. The point is when I’d express to them how much I love them, or how fabulous they are, my kids used to tell me (and they probably feel the same way now), “you’re supposed to feel that way, you’re my Mom.” Or worse yet, “that doesn’t mean anything, you’re my Mom.”
To be fair I have to say I understand where they were coming from. They wanted acceptance and love from friends…. but here’s the deal. I don’t love them because I’m supposed to. I love them because, Holy Cow! I can’t help it. There is no choice involved here. It’s in the very marrow of my bones. My body aches and my heart pours out. There is nothing, absolutely nothing I can do to stop it, or change it or anything. It simply IS.
About a month ago my husband was preaching a sermon and He was talking about God’s love. God’s love for us. Basically saying the same thing. God’s love is not a choice, God’s love is WHO He is. There was no decision, “Well, these humans are going to screw up, I guess we better figure out how We can save them.” No, not at all. God HAD to save us. Why? Because there IS NO choice. . . . it must be done. Not because Love “demands” it. But because that Love can’t NOT. That’s what that love does. . . .that love pours itself out. that Love bleeds. . . it cannot be stopped. . . it cannot decide not to love.
So, does that Love mean any less when it cannot help but love? When there is no choice; do we discard it as “meaningless”?
There are some people in my life that I choose to love. It is a willful act, a conscious decision. And then there is the love for my husband. . . . different because it started outside of me. . . . choice is involved somehow, but not totally. It’s more like a beautiful dance, like the colours of the sunset, like sun-diamonds sparkling on the snow.
But the love for my children, well that is direct, more like a blazing bolt of fire that cannot be quenched. It has a power all its own, a life beyond me. Which one means more? The choice? The dance? The power?
I don’t know the answer to that question. But I do know which one is strongest in me . . . because that love, well, I can’t help it.