What Is Love?
What is love? Love is Jesus, who at the end of his life endured betrayal, mockery, and scorn. He was spat upon, whipped beyond the point of recognition, had sharp thorns thrust upon his head. He was publicly shamed through the streets of Jerusalem, and he endured the most torturous form of execution known to man. And as he hung on those beams of wood, while his blood pooled around his body and on the ground and the crowds below made a spectacle of his death, he still found it in his heart to plead, “Father, please forgive them.”
This is love. A love that is not bound by any conditions, not even by the conditions of horrific abuse. A love that can endure the worst of the evil this world has to offer, and look at the faces of those committing that evil, and ask God for their forgiveness anyway. A love that can cut a beeline through all the pious, acceptable, righteous people in society and seek out the social outcasts: the lepers and taxcollectors, prostitutes and adulterers, the voiceless, the hurting.
This is love. This is the standard that I am called to. And this is why God never asked us to strive to love with our own hearts, because the truth is that I am no less broken than the outcasts who flocked to the side of the Lord. I am just a different kind of broken, and so the only kind of real love that I have to offer the world is the perfect, holy, beautiful love of God, working through me, his vessel.