Thursday, October 09, 2003

What Does Love Look Like?

The first is like the second, the second like the first. They are tied together. Like conjoined twins sharing a single heart, the commands to love God and love your neighbor must not be, cannot be, separated.

To define love is possible. Love like Jesus commanded in Matthew 22 is good will even for enemies, not dependent on the lovability of the person loved, always accompanied with action. But love is shown better than defined. In lieu of defining love, Jesus illustrated it with personal example and story. He gave us pictures of love that we can examine and imitate.

He told the story that Luke records about a man beaten and left for dead. Two “spiritual leaders” passed by, unwilling to help. An outcast saw the beaten man, though, tended to his wounds, carried him to a place where he could heal, and paid for the services he needed. That’s Love. The Pharisee, eager to justify himself, still could miss the point.

Jesus “showed the full extent of his love” (NIV) when he washed the feet of his followers, his students, his servants. That’s Love. The disciples understood that they weren’t worthy; they were loved.

The theologian Augustine answered the question, “What does love look like?” saying, It (love) has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”

Richard May

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