October 31 – Unflagging Love

October 31 – Unflagging Love

1 John 4:16-17

“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.” (1 John 4:16-17)

My human experience is all the analogy I have. By comparison with God’s analogy, mine is so feeble. Yet, I remember when Muriel and I were engaged – she was the passion of my life: my mind obsessed on her all day and most of the night. No sacrifice was too great if only it would bring her joy, words always proved inadequate to express my feelings, though I constantly attempted by letter and phone calls. There seemed no limit to the glories I discovered in her and proclaimed to all who would listen. Indeed, I seemed in danger of worshiping her. And now? Now she lies abed and I care for her every need, feeding, bathing, changing. I love her dearly. The heartache is, she can’t love me back. Sometimes our eyes connect briefly in the morning, and she responds with a grunt when I do something that doesn’t please her, like cleaning her teeth. That’s it. I often think, “Lord, is that the way it is between you and me? You pouring out your love and care so ceaselessly and all you get in return is a brief connection in the morning and a grunt when things don’t go my way?” How sad. For him.

I lament with Isaac Watts, “And shall we then forever live at this poor dying rate? Our love so faint, so cold to Thee, and thine to us so great?”

And with Pollock I confess and plead:

We have not loved thee as we ought,

Nor cared that we are loved by thee;

Thy presence we have coldly sought,

And feebly longed thy face to see.

Lord, give a pure and loving heart

To feel and own the love thou art.[87]

For this he created me. For this he redeemed me. Oh, that the passionate love affair of my youth would seize me, that my mind would obsess on him throughout the day, my words and actions would ever keep the spotlight on each of his excellencies, that I would listen attentively to his wooing, tell him often of my love. I realize I will not fully experience that loving oneness till I move to his House. But in the meantime, what focus, what delight, what energy it brings to contemplate his unflagging love for me and the ultimate purpose of my life, to love him with all my heart and soul and mind and strength.

[87] Thomas Benson Pollock, We Have Not Known Thee as We Ought. 1889. Public Domain.

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