Try as the world might to make lust and love interchangeable concepts, it cannot. Try as the world might to convince you that love and lust are both branches of the same tree, evidence proves otherwise, because though lust is a temporary, fleeting, oftentimes worthless emotion rooted in desire, love is tenacious and lasting, and selfless.
Love is not basking in the afterglow of your happiest moments; it is being there, holding someone’s hand during their most desperate ones. Love is putting the needs of your spouse, your children, your parents, your grandparents, or even a stranger above your wants and desires, and making the requisite sacrifices.
Love is the Son of God praying for His tormentors. Love is the Son of God hanging on a cross.
Love allows for forgiveness. Love allows for redemption. Love allows for mercy and kindness.
Love is a safe harbor amid the storm, an immutable reality, as absolute and incontrovertible as God Himself.
Love is action. Love is not the momentary exaltation of your heart going pitter-patter, or the blushing of your cheeks; it is the anchor that keeps you steadfast and committed through the good and the bad, through the sorrow and the joy, through the pain of life that everyone walking the earth can relate to on some level.
What can bring someone joy varies depending on who they are and what they enjoy. I’ve known people whose most blissful moments are the hours on end they spend hoping to spot a Green Jay, or a Blue-Footed Booby in the wild. (The latter is a real bird. Look it up.) I’ve known others who get untold pleasure out of driving their car, or wading through the surf barefoot, or hearing their children saying a new word for the first time.
Pain, however, pain is pain, and we all feel it the same way. We may not react to it or deal with it the same fashion, but pain is the one commonality we all share to varying degrees. If pain is a singularly common trait, then love is the singularly common remedy for pain.
When someone is hurting, our first instinct is to point out their failures, and all the time, we told them that if they went in a certain direction, they would inevitably reach a predetermined destination. It’s hard to bite our tongues when what we knew would happen, happens, but it’s what we must do.
When someone has hit rock bottom they pretty much know where they are and how they got there. It’s not a surprise; it’s not as though they can’t retrace their steps and see where they wandered. It’s not as though they were on top of the world one moment, then found themselves at the bottom of the pit the next. Falling takes time, you get bruised and dinged along the way, and if there’s nothing to grab on to, if there’s nothing to stop your descent, then you keep falling until there’s nowhere further to fall.
Love is the lifeline that can keep someone from hitting rock bottom. Love is what someone in freefall can latch onto, and begin pulling themselves up again. Be tenacious in loving others, because Jesus was tenacious in loving you.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.