“I love Jesus.”
It’s the Christian thing to say.
But lately I’ve been wondering if I really mean it.
In the past few months, I’ve met two people who love Jesus so much they cry when they talk about him.
It’s not that I think the mark of truly loving Jesus is crying when you talk about him, but it communicated something significant to me.
These people know what’s it like to love Jesus in a way I don’t yet.
I do love him, in my own way. The choices I’ve made about how I live my life are, in small ways at least, reflections of that. But I’m not sure I know what it’s like to be in love with Jesus. To feel it so deeply inside of me that I never lose it no matter what my day or month or year has been like. To be so full of love for him that it’s positively spilling over into every.single.thing that I do. To love Jesus infectiously.
I can say that I do, but I don’t know that I really mean it.
There is no magic wand to wave to get me from where I am with loving Jesus to where I should be, want to be, need to be. These people I met who cried when they talked about how much they love Jesus have been through stuff. Deep, dark, soul-wrenching stuff, and I can’t help but think that’s part of what got them to where they are with being in love with Jesus.
Is that the only way to really fall in love with Jesus though? I can’t entirely believe that it is.
Loving people that you see and talk to and spend time with in a tangible form is not so hard. You hang out with them, laugh with them, hug them, eat with them, show up at their house when they’re having a bad day.
But one of the most difficult things for me about Christianity is that we say we love this person who came to earth in a bodily form, but is no longer here in a bodily form. I’m still not sure what it means to love someone I never see or laugh with or hug.
Because most of the human ways of showing love don’t work with Jesus.
So I don’t have answers here, because I’m still figuring it out. I can say that I love Jesus, but I’m not entirely sure what that means. One answer might be that we love Jesus by loving others, and I think there’s some truth to that–but I also think there’s more.
The kind of love for Jesus that makes you cry when you talk about him is not achieved merely by loving others. I’m just not quite sure how it is.
Til next time…
p.s. What do you think it looks like to really love Jesus?