Tonight I am feeling the weight of love burdening my spirit. I don't mean the joyful kind of love that is full of happiness, laughter, expectation and intimacy. No, that kind of love is easy. It is no burden to bear.
Tonight I am feeling the other side of what love is, what it truly means. I am confronted with the claim of unconditional love, and it is a huge burden indeed. Unconditional love at it's core is not about the ease and ecstasy of loving all the good and kind and comfortable things about another person. Unconditional love is about loving a person when it hurts you to do so.
I believe in unconditional love. I believe in it because I have felt it, I have been on the receiving end of it at many times in my life, and I recognize that my life will be one bump after another requiring the kind of love that can withstand the incredible beating that marks life on this planet. I believe in it because I know God lived it and offers it to me every day.
But now a very important person in my life is living in such a way as to call to account my claim of unconditional love. I am witnessing a depth of darkness that I did not know was possible in someone this close to me, and in the midst of this heartbreak and anguish I am learning an amazing thing about my love for the people in my life. Unconditional love is real.
I have never had to give it before. Until this season, this moment, when I said that I loved someone unconditionally I could only assume it to be true. Now I know it is possible, and my overwhelming feelings are awe and fear. I am in awe of the beauty and compassion that is unconditional love, and I am at the same time frightened because I know it is not something that I am fully capable of. It is a gift, a gift that I am so thankful for, but when I recognize it as a gift I am forced to recognize God's hand print on my life and feeling the hand of God on me creates a weight that presses deeply into me.
I feel tonight as though I am getting a small glimpse of the love that God has for me. The kind of love that is sobering and painful even as it encompasses all the wonderful things that love is known for. What an amazing and scary thing love is. It is something that cannot be fully experienced unless is challenged and dragged down to the dark places. It is something that is so far beyond my grasp. On nights like these it is a burden that is potent and heavy, that reminds me of the sacrifice God made for me and the sacrifice I am called to make for those around me that I love unconditionally.