Monday, 9 September 2013

A Stupid Love like Christ's

Elle and Jerald fell for each other and they were happy in each other's company. They communicated everyday and the special moments together became good memories. The relationship was going smoothly and was looking very promising until one day, Elle found out that Jerald was lying to her all these while. He actually had another sweetheart who he was making long term plans with. 

The discovery came as a complete shock to Elle, and perhaps even for Jerald, who did not seem to have any intention of being honest about what was truly real for him. Elle was devastated. So many questions ran through her mind, tears shed, so many different emotions to grapple with. Being deliberately kept in the dark, she had no clue that what she had thought was so real in her life was actually just a dream she was then being forced to wake up from. 

In her devastation, Elle decided that she could move on with her life while still loving Jerald, and that she did not have to force herself to hate him or remain angry with him. It took her a few days but eventually, she forgave Jerald for the hurt he had caused. Till the last minute, she was still hoping that he would forego the other girl for her. She was still praying for him and his well being, missing the times they spent together, while at the same time enduring the pain of the broken dreams she had for the relationship.

For any person who has a logical mind, Elle is plain stupid. I cannot understand her continued hopes for a future with a person who does not take care of her heart. I cannot understand the softness of her heart. After being completely fooled, how was it that she still refused to hate him but instead, consciously chose to forgive and love him still? Even if she does not hate him, would it not be more logical for her to keep him out of her mind and heart, and not even think of him at all? How could she continue to open her heart to him and desire to be in a relationship with him?

But for a person who has chosen love - and love is a choice, not a feeling - the heart is always the dominating and ruling party. While Elle's mind can rationalise and list out all the flaws of Jerald and conclude that he is not worth her love, this is not how the heart functions. The heart is incapable of judging, incapable of rationalising. The heart is only capable of love. And when one chooses to love, one chooses to operate from the heart. But the big risk of doing this is that the heart is made completely vulnerable and subjected to being hurt. 

And yet, is this not a resemblance of God's love? The illogical God I have come to know? I, too, cannot understand God's love for mankind. I cannot understand His love for me and His continued desire to be in relationship with me. Logically, He should be listing out all my sins and judging me and concluding that I, too, am not worthy of His love. And no matter how much He does for me and how long He waits for me, there is never going to be a day of my life when I will be sinless and I am not going to pierce His head with the crown of my sins. Yet, He continues to await me, continues to welcome me home into His embrace each time I wander far from Him. He continues to overlook my unfaithfulness, my infidelity, my lies that I love Him but after which I go playing around with other more "attractive" things in life. If God were to love me with His mind, I would be eternally dead without a chance of redemption. It does not mean that I can treat God as a doormat, step on Him and then beg for His forgiveness. I have to be sincere in trying to do all I can for my relationship with Him too. Similarly, Elle's continued love for Jerald does not mean she subjects herself to being his doormat because Jesus also taught us to love our neighbours as ourselves. We are to love ourselves too. If being with Jerald is not life-giving to her, then she needs to choose to live a separate life from him. This does not mean she has to stop loving him. But this love has to take on a different face. No longer a love that demands to be together but a love that sincerely wishes good for him, a love that is willing to let go, a love that is willing to keep him in continued prayers. A love that accepts that there is nothing more it can do for the other and that prayer is the best and the last possible expression of itself. 

Looking at Elle, perhaps my only remaining sentiment is that of surrendering. I cannot understand her love for Jerald and perhaps, love is not something we can understand. Perhaps, love is not something that needs our understanding. Looking at another suffering for love, I need to put aside my logical and practical ways. No doubt, Elle will receive the healing she needs because with such an open heart, God can pour into it His healing graces far more easily than if it were a heart closed and hardened with anger and hatred. Elle will become a more compassionate person because she will understand the pain of others in similar experiences. But in the meantime, as she goes through the grieving process of this loss (the logical mind will call it a good loss), it is not for anyone to judge her either for "stupidly" choosing to love because in this loving, she is truly becoming more and more into the image and likeness of Christ. 

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