Love Story

“The story of redemption is, in its purest form, a love story, but it’s a love story unlike anything you could ever imagine.” -Elyse Fitzpatrick, Comforts from the Cross

 

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How Jesus Treated His Enemies

“What was he to his enemies! Did he call for fire from heaven when they wronged him? Was he all on a heat? When his poor disciples, being more flesh than spirit, would have fire from heaven, ‘You know not what spirit you are of,’ saith he, Luke ix. 55. He shed tears for those that shed his blood, ‘Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem,’ &c., Mat. xxiii. 37, that afterward crucified him. And upon the cross you see there to his very enemies, ‘Father, forgive them, they know not what they do,’ Luke xxiii. 34. So then if we will be like to Christ, consider how he carried himself to God in devotion and obedience, and how in himself he was full of purity and holiness, unspotted every way; how to his friends, to all that had any goodness in them; and how to his enemies, he prayed for his very enemies.” -Richard Sibbes, Glorious Freedom

 

Love is Narrowing

“All love is narrowing. It is the renunciation of other possibilities for the sake of one choice. In a 2008 wedding toast to Cass Sunstein and Samantha Power, Leon Wieseltier put it about as well as possible:

Brides and grooms are people who have discovered, by means of love, the local nature of happiness. Love is a revolution in scale, a revision of magnitudes; it is private and it is particular; its object is the specificity of this man and that woman, the distinctness of this spirit and that flesh. Love prefers deep to wide, and here to there; the grasp to the reach…. Love is, or should be, indifferent to history, immune to it—a soft and sturdy haven from it: when the day is done, and the lights are out, and there is only this other heart, this other mind, this other face, to assist in repelling one’s demons or in greeting one’s angels, it does not matter who the president is. When one consents to marry, one consents to be truly known, which is an ominous prospect; and so one bets on love to correct for the ordinariness of the impression, and to call forth the forgiveness that is invariably required by an accurate perception of oneself. Marriages are exposures. We may be heroes to our spouses but we may not be idols.”

David Brooks, The Road to Character

“And so, finally, love impels people to service. If love starts with a downward motion, burrowing into the vulnerability of self, exposing nakedness, it ends with an active upward motion. It arouses great energy and desire to serve. The person in love is buying little presents, fetching the glass from the next room, bringing a tissue when there’s flu, driving through traffic to pick the beloved up at the airport. Love is waking up night after night to breastfeed, living year after year to nurture. It is risking and sacrificing your life for your buddy’s in a battle. Love ennobles and transforms. In no other state do people so often live as we want them to live. In no other commitment are people so likely to slip beyond the logic of self-interest and unconditional commitments that manifest themselves in daily acts of care.” -David Brooks, The Road to Character

Love Softens Us

“In this way love softens. We all know people who were brittle and armored up for life before they fell in love. But in the midst of that sweet and vulnerable state of motivation their manner changed. Behind their back we tell each other that they are aglow with love. The lobster shell has been peeled away, exposing flesh. This has made them more frightened, and more open to damage, but also kinder, more capable of living life as an offering. Shakespeare, the inevitable authority on this subject, wrote, “The more I give to thee / The more I have, for both are infinite.”” -David Brooks, The Road to Character