Being Loved (7 of 8)

The question of whether life has purpose, meaning, and significance is the very heartbeat of our presuppositions – but like much of our philosophical formation, it remains in abstraction, allowing the more pressing issues of our day to day to take center stage. And even though these presuppositions often abide largely undetected, or are ruminated on as the grand themes of life, far removed from our practical daily experience – they still seem to have a way of making themselves ever-present, taking the shape of longings and desires stirring within us, seeking resolution.

The transcendent forces of love and beauty defy definition – the best we can do is to offer our experiential descriptions of them. I would argue that they are elusively defined precisely because they are transcendently sourced — affixed to the underlying purpose, meaning, and significance of life. So that all that is evocative and beautiful might give us a glimpse of what makes life meaningful — all of us having an abiding desire to be known and loved, intuitively drawn back to the transcendent source from which love comes.

The adage “love is blind” is a bit misleading — seeming to suggest that love is somehow left in the dark about who we really are . . . and if ever discovered would soon depart. But love is eyes wide open – choosing to look beyond our faults and failings, choosing to embrace us as we are . . . so that we might be truly known and truly loved. Because behind the larger philosophical question of whether or not life, in general, has significance, is the question: does my life have significance? . . . and love answers with an emphatic – Yes! This is the starting place for knowing what it means to be loved.

imagesGod is love (1 John 4:8) isn’t meant as a scriptural Hallmark greeting card sentiment – rather, it is an ontological cornerstone on which the whole of creation is to be understood. Because the otherness of God is shrouded in mystery, it is the transcendent nature of love that gives us a peek beyond the theological definitions of God to find a knowing of him (and ourselves), that defies definition. So when we read “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” ~ Romans 5:8 . . . God isn’t only showing us how much love he has for us, but he is also revealing something essential about himself – that love is who he is and what he does.

It is a curious thing that such a cruel device of tortuous execution would come to symbolize the most profound expression of love – in fact, the epicenter of all love. That the very love that spoke creation into existence, is the same love that took Jesus to the cross . . . and now love itself is measured in this way. But being loved and feeling loved are not always the same. Being loved, for each of us together and separately, has been sown into creation from the very beginning. And in a redounding crescendo that split history wide open, love was on full display for everyone to see, in the cross of Christ. So you may not always feel it – but being loved is an inescapable fact of who you are.


This Pierce Pettis song always explains it better than I could ever hope to . . .

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