Love Is The Key
Life provides many treasured moments and in my memory bank is one from Christmas 2011, when we travelled by road from Mount Isa to Ballina in northern NSW. With me was my wife Pattie and two granddaughters, then aged 16 & 5. Nearing Ballina, there is a stunning, breath-taking view that sweeps down the range, across lush green hills and valleys to the Pacific Ocean. In nearing the spot, I suggested the two girls look out the window. As we rounded the bend, the view opened; there was an audible gasp from 5 year old Ebony, then a long moment of silence, followed by a profound nugget of wisdom: “Poppy, God must really love us, because He made this country so beautiful!”
God must really love us! And love us God surely does. “For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son ...” [John 3:16]. When Jesus came to earth he came to serve, to show God’s true love to all people. He did not spare himself in his care for others, revealing loving compassion to all and proving the extent of his love when he laid down his life, that we might be redeemed. An instrument of death – the Cross – is the greatest possible symbol of true love. Jesus gave ALL for us! What does he expect in return? Simply to love Him and to love others – “you must love one another just as I have loved you.” [John 13:34]
There’s something about loving God with our whole hearts that naturally flows into loving others. Perhaps because God has created us in his own image, there’s a picture of him, a treasure from him, in each of us. When we see each other, we see a reflection of the Lord. Maybe it’s because God loves each of us with such fierce devotion that for us not to share love with each other would be an offense to him. Maybe it’s both!
God has called us to love each other just as fully as we love him. That’s not always an easy task; some people seem determined to make it even harder – some are downright unlovable! But our Father is ready to help. When we take the first step, God will respond with divine grace to soften our hearts. We can pray: “Lord, show me the treasures you have placed in all the people around me—especially those I find hardest to love!”
Here is an awesome and powerful revelation, which, if you really allow it to soak in, can make all the difference in loving others. “God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him… … as he is, so are we in this world”. [1 John 4: 16-17]. God is love and as he is, so are you. You are love! Isn’t that amazing? It bears repeating every day: As you are Lord, so am I in this world. I am love.
The love we crave is already in your heart; the love you know you should have for others is also already there. You are love and you can radiate that love to others. Because I am love I can choose to show love. Acknowledge the great love God has for you by sharing it with each person whose path crosses yours.
Love is the key – the key that unlocks the door to God’s kingdom; the key that unlocks hearts and leads them to God; the key that builds a fire within our hearts. Love is the cornerstone of our faith. Love can only be passed on and shared. Love is sharing and giving.
Previously published in The Catholic Leader (01/11/2014)