are part of a world that places much emphasis on the concept of love. It is
something so celebrated, yet simultaneously something that can be hard to grasp.
We get exposed to many different kinds of love. The most familiar loves we know
consist of familial love, friendship and romantic love. And then there is the
agape love of God – a sacrificial and unconditional love. Love is familiar
because we all know it in one form or another. But it can be easily twisted if
we do not have agape love as the foundational motivation for the other three
human beings, one of our defining attributes regarding love is hard-wiring for
companionship. As the famous opening
phrase by the poet John Donne emphatically states, “No man is an island, entire
of itself”. We find fulfilment in loving others and having love returned to us.
Even being in the presence of one friend near and dear to us counts for plenty.
We are not built to be alone. Another key attribute of how we are attuned to
love would be our emotional response to people and situations. A large aspect
of our relationships are built on emotions. Happiness shared, tears shed in
sadness, pride in another’s achievements, anger at something gone wrong… the
list goes on.
our humanness has consequences. We don’t always behave as how we should.
Arguments happen. Frustration and dissatisfaction set in. Our relationships
with others disintegrate despite much investment. We make bad choices, hurting
ourselves and others. Sometimes, we end up losing people we value and love - a
family member, a friend or a significant other. And we are left wondering at
the mistakes, trying to figure things out and patch the pieces back together.
There is nothing wrong with desiring company
with others, or relating emotionally to others. Those attitudes are innate
parts of us as human beings. But at one point, they won’t be enough to sustain
us. They are components of real love. They are important aspects of how we
understand love. But these attitudes do not form a roadmap to real love itself.
We always long for something more. A relationship of greater depth. Something
that goes beyond emotion because somewhere deep inside us, we understand that
emotion can only last for so long as the fuel for a relationship. We know that
at one point, human mindsets will not be enough for real love. We’re all
looking and longing for a love that never fails us. A love that doesn’t wax and
wane under time a circumstances. Something steadfast and true. And that is the
crucial nature of agape love.
go back to the definition of agape. In Greek, agape literally means love. It is a love that has its origin in
God and not man. In Romans 5:8, it is noted, “But God demonstrates his own love
(agape) for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
William Barclay (1974) stated that, “Agape has to do with the mind: it is not
simply an emotion which rises unbidden in our hearts; it is a principle by
which we deliberately live.” The whole
notion of agape runs contrary to human nature. It calls us to be better than
ourselves. It calls us not to live by our feelings, but to live beyond them. It
would have been a painful and torturous death on the cross, yet Jesus willingly
did it out of agape love for us. He didn’t die for a specific “good” group of
people, but for everyone. The world has a way of branding people based on their
misdeeds or lack of accomplishments. Liar. Thief. Useless. Average Joe… Yet the
agape that Jesus demonstrated appoints everyone as exceedingly valued and
loved. And when we know Jesus and love him, we in turn start to see people ever
more through his eyes.
The whole notion of agape runs contrary to human nature. It calls us to be better than ourselves. It calls us not to live by our feelings, but to live beyond them.
agape can motivate us to sincerely love others the same way as Jesus, not just
in word but also in action. We start to love people just as they are; we also
see more clearly their potential beyond who they are now to who they can be. It
is a not shallow love. It hangs in there for the long run. It teaches us how to
give sacrificially and weeds out a mentality of judgment. We learn to be more
humble and less self-conscious. Other people become more important to us than
ourselves. When we apply agape love to our relationships and situations,
transformation occurs. It might be gradual or it could radically change a life
overnight. Either way, the key thing is that we are putting it in action. When
we love people with an attitude of agape, we deliberately choose to give them
all with have without expecting anything in return. It is the noblest form of
love that we could possibly offer. As a matter of fact, God’s agape is the sole
love that can thoroughly fill us, and at the same moment empower us to love
that you are called to love powerfully and transformationally. You don’t have
to perform big, crazy or wild gestures. Agape love can be as simple as spending
time with someone who needs it. It could be really listening to a person with
the aim of understanding his/her situation, rather aiming to reply. It might
consist of doing a good deed in anonymity, or being pleasant to someone who
makes it a chronic struggle for you to be nice. Little deeds done with a big
heart count for much. As St. Teresa of Avila aptly pronounced, “The smallest
thing when done for the love of God is priceless.”
But not anymore.
Now when I hear your name or when someone mentions you- I cringe. My eyes go blank and my body goes numb. You’d think that all the hurt in the world was forced into my body. My heart becomes melancholic and shuts down. It’ll skip a few beats. All of which, within a blink of an eye. I’ll smile so widely and hoping they’d change the subject.
//There are still days where I’d be staring out of the classroom door hoping you’d pass by. My eyes go inky black and it hits me in full force. I didn’t just like you. I loved you. Do I still love you? I don’t know it’s been awhile since you’ve passed by.
>inspired from a post I read but can’t find it anymore