“There is the great lesson of ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ that a thing must be loved before it is lovable.”- G.K. Chesteron
When Chesteron penned these words, he echoed the very heart of his God-made-man Maker, Jesus Christ. Jesus taught that all the beauty that exists only does so because it was, and is continually worked upon by love: every bird and flower is fed and clothed by the same Maker who cares for and cultivates you and me (Matthew 6:25-33).
But Jesus did not just teach this truth, his very life, as God incarnate-leaving his throne and taking on the flesh of his creation, to live among and die for, to rise again on behalf of, to save, and to “live to intercede” for of all who come to him through faith-proved his message (Romans 5:8, Romans 8:34). Love is what creates and sustains our existence (Acts 17:28).
In a similar way, our love can “create” and sustain existence. Whenever I watch really young children play, I wonder at the way any of us survived childhood. We fell, banged our heads, got up, cried, and did it again. We put rocks, sticks, and pretty much anything we could find in our mouths. We touched hot stoves, and pulled boiling cups of water onto our hands and heads. How did we survive?
We only made it this far, because of love. Someone, in love, picked us up when we fell down; again, and again, and again. Someone dried our tears, and hugged us. Someone took the rocks, sticks, and other objects from our hands and mouths. Someone pulled us away from hot stoves, and moved boiling water out of our reach. And, when they couldn’t keep us from danger in the moment, that someone was rushed us to the hospital, and cared for us as we healed from our self-inflicted injuries.
We exist today, because we were and are loved; not just once, but again, and again, and again.
We have the power to bring life-giving love to others, but only because someone first gave it to us. Ultimately, all of us exist and have any capacity to love, because GOD LOVES US!
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth…We love because he first loved us” (I John 3:18-4:19).
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34).
Friend, you are SO LOVED! May your deep and abiding knowledge of how very loved you are empower you to love others with this life-giving love that you have received. If you don’t already know Jesus, the source of love, and the archetype example of it, may today be the day you cry out to him in faith. May today be the day you taste a sample of the sweetness of his rich love for you.