Today’s column considers just how powerful the spirit of love can be.
Nineteenth-century Scottish evangelist, biologist, writer, and lecturer Henry Drummond once said, “You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments that stand out, the moments when you have really lived, are the moments when you have done things in a spirit of love” (“The Greatest Thing in the World,” p. 56).
Many people today are happily discovering for themselves the truth of that insightful statement. It’s worth it to follow such a heartening trend and do the same. For me, this idea of loving has become even more meaningful in the light of what one of my most treasured books, the Bible, has to say about love: simply, that “God is love” (I John 4:8).
As a boy, I had determined God to be some sort of invisible entity who was silently watching and judging, rewarding and withholding. But when I began to consider God as all-encompassing and all-powerful Love itself, from that point forward nothing in my life was the same. Because divine Love is by its very nature limitless, it is with us wherever we go; it enlivens us, provides for us, and enables us to help others. This is the God who has “not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,” as the Bible says (II Timothy 1:7).
Unselfish care for another that’s impelled by the concrete presence of the Divine is empowering, as Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, observes in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” She says: “Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed love, receives directly the divine power” (p. 192). As we begin to recognize the allness and pure goodness of divine Love, our thought changes, and we reset our priorities for daily life. We let our actions, outlook, and inner thoughts express the loving nature of the God who created us in His spiritual image. This then enriches our interactions and experiences, sometimes far beyond our expectations. We discover that we can feel divine Love’s healing presence very tangibly.
When a friend of mine became absolutely overwhelmed with his workload, he had an unconventional response: Each day he prayed to feel and express more love for God, along with more love for the opportunities he was being given to serve others. He stayed very consistent with doing this. Before long, he discovered that not only had his sense of love expanded, he was also able to handle an even greater workload than he’d had before. This was noted and commended by management.
Christ Jesus often talked about the love of God. In fact, not just through his words, but in his acts, it was the leading theme in his healing ministry. From Jesus’ example we can begin to see that the divine Love that is God truly is so complete and all-encompassing that it leaves no room for anything unlike itself. Just Love. Love, and Love’s expression in us and the universe, is the entirety of true existence.
“He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him,” says the Bible (I John 4:16). Throughout any given day, we have numerous opportunities to demonstrate a growing awareness of God as Love, to joyfully strive to feel and express Love’s essence. The results will be seen in active, selfless love for others and a deepening love for God. God created us as the expression of His boundless love. So, as a result, what shall we do? Just love.