Love Beyond Love
Almighty God, I do love and fear you. What fool would fail to tremble at your ability to cast it into the eternal suffering of its own making? But I am not motivated by your power to effortlessly give me what I have often requested by my choice of sin. No, I am not motivated by my fear of judgment and hell. My divine Love, I am driven to love you by the reality of your unimaginable grace. How is it that you love me? How is it that a perfect, holy, and good God could love one who has so often spurned, rejected, and trampled on perfect love? I rightly imagine myself the murderer of a mother’s only son. But instead of hatred and disdain, she offers me her hand of friendship. And then in an act of love beyond love she extends me complete forgiveness. In her embrace to heal my dark soul she discovers that I am an orphan, and without hesitation, she welcomes me into her home. Now, I sleep in warmth and comfort – in her son’s bed – the son I had stolen from her. I live with her perfect incomprehensible grace. Oh my God, oh my Love, how can I give anything less than everything back to You?
Art for this post on love beyond love: Die Rückkehr des verlorenen Sohns (The Return of the Prodigal Son), Otto Mengelberg, 1848, PD-US author’s life plus 70 years or less, Wikimedia Commons.