Love Is A Many Splintered Thing


Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39)

Love can kill you. Or even worse, leave you maimed for life. When it comes to the love thing, nobody comes out unscathed. There’s just something about it that messes you up. Contrary to popular myth, love gone wrong is easy to deal with; it’s love gone right that royally screws up the works.

Love between humans is bad enough. The problem isn’t so much with you loving somebody. When you love somebody you do stupid stuff on purpose. You don’t seem to mind that you’re making an idiot of yourself. When you love somebody you even make sacrifices that don’t feel like sacrifices. Love distorts reality like that. Even so, that’s not the big problem.

The big problem is when somebody loves you. No. The big problem is knowing that somebody loves you. That totally throws things out of whack. Knowing that somebody loves you obligates you backwards. It’s weird. Unlike when you love somebody and do stupid stuff of your own free will, when somebody loves you it’s like a computer virus that reprograms everything without your permission. You find yourself looking at a whole new desktop no matter what you do. It’s like your normal life gets reprogrammed somehow and you know it, but there’s nothing you can really do about it since it’s not you loving somebody but them loving you which you have no control over. I’m not saying that’s not kind of nice, but that’s beside the point. The point is that when somebody loves you you end up having to respond in some way even if you really wish you didn’t have to.

So throw God into the picture. When you’re talking God’s love, you’re talking whacked times infinity. Actually, we’re talking bona fide existential insanity here. God doesn’t divvy up his love, dealing it out in measured doses. When God loves something the entire thing that is God gets zeroed in on that thing and it is the target of 100% God, and when you aim 100% of God—which is infinitely more than 100% and hard to explain without a graphing calculator—like I say, when you aim all of an infinite deity at a decidedly finite object (say, for example, you) you’ve got a collision that makes the Large Hadron Collider look like a day-old jelly donut, although an image from the LHC gives you a rough idea of what happens to you when you’re smacked by divine love:

It’s actually kind of pretty in a totally obliterating sort of way. The point is that once God unleashes his affections on you, you might as well resign yourself to molecular diffusion. You can forget about business as usual. When God’s love smashes into you, all that’s left is a streaking mess of virtual particles that only God can chart (with a graphing calculator, of course). We’re talking lethal endearment plain and simple.

Jesus loves me
This I know
Because my core
Is gonna blow
Yes, he loves me
Quarks and all
And so I take
My curtain call

.   .   .



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