The first harvest of the Spirit is love. (Galatians 5:22). It is a word so bandied about that we have tarnished its meaning with trivial connotations that contaminate its intended, lustrous, reflective sheen.
We are called to love. “You, my friends, were called to be free men; only do not turn your freedom into a licence for your lower nature, but be servants to one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in a single commandment to love your neighbor as yourself ” (Galatians 5:13-14).
We have the freedom to love. It’s not the “free love” like we touted in the sixties, but a love based on authentic faith intelligence and intuition fortified with empathy and understanding. This love is not random; it is purposeful, going out to its object with focused devotion.
Love is significantly more than the Hallmark words “I love you” at the dawn of a relationship, or the mumbled “I love you” whisper at bedtime in the middle age of marriage. Love is an intentional, intelligent, and intuitive action; a devoted pattern of doing for the other.
As a grandmother, I understand an ‘nth of how this kind of love manifests itself. My grandchildren barely have to tell me their needs before I muster my all to meet those needs. It’s like there is a string attached from my heart to theirs and the slightest tug pulls me in their direction. When I come across the proverbial “unloveable” in my life, I need to punch myself with this mindful picture of how to love.
Can you imagine loving that way all the time: intentionally, intelligently, intuitively, and unselfishly?
Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.