Forrest Gump confidently said to Jenny, “I’m not a smart man, but I know what love is”. Forrest, please tell us more, cause most of the planet population doesn’t have a clue what love is. What does it look like anyway – to love; or what does love genuinely feel like? Real love, that is. Not the butterflies in the stomach type, or the roller-coaster ride of emotions that shoot to the moon, but fizzle for the million-and-one reasons in a tumultuous soapbox saga. God clearly designed this complex universe. So “what’s up” with the love thing?
That’s a deep dive, existential question. Let’s pause a bit before taking that metaphysical plunge.
Think about this. The world’s population has reached 7.5 billion. There’s only one place the masses can collectively see at any given time, regardless of location on the planet. Tilt the head back and look up. That’s our universal intersection – UP. Day or night, it’s waiting for all of us 24/7. That’s right, daylight’s blue sky with the omnipresent sun and sculptured billowy clouds; or night’s black velvet with an infinite parade of stars and the mysterious celestial moon. It does appear by God's design that we seek heaven-ward to sort out answers for all those tough questions and dire circumstances we find ourselves in. Human pain and suffering, injustice, and random tragedies are mingled with the celebratory chapters of life. Is meditating to the heavens for divine intercession the way to God’s love?
My Mother taught me “what love is”. She was always serving with her time, energy, and talents. Whether preparing meals, cleaning clothes or the house, driving to doctor’s appointments or sporting events, monitoring homework, or getting the family to the church on time, Mothers “do-it-all” with little regard for themselves. With grace and an ubiquitous smile, Mothers’ acts of love emanate from God’s most holy place. There’s no place like home where a Mother’s love comforts like a hearty cup of soup on a cold, rainy day.
Jesus, son of the living God, taught me “what love is” too. To connect with us, he lived in a flesh and blood earth suit for thirty-three years. He suffered a brutal crucifixion for the sins of man, but was resurrected. From the beginning, Jesus’ life was ordained by the Creator to be a sacrificial path for man to restore fellowship with God.
Love and sacrifice. As with birth, the Mother’s sacrifice brings forth a child’s life through her love. Through the blood shed at the cross, Jesus’ sacrificial love bridges a rebirth for spiritual eternity.
Back to the deep dive question - “what’s up” with the love thing? Often, love is described as Eros (desire and longing), Agape (sacrificial servitude), or Philos. Philos, love of the third kind, is derived from the Greek word phileo; and manifests in close friendships. Best friends express their affection and generosity through behaviors of kindness and goodwill. Biblical teachings herald God’s Agape as the purest expression of love. In the journey to cultivate a more perfect Agape love, most of our lives paddle through rivers of Eros and Philos love.
Love of the Third Kind (Philos) is the heart of LovesIntention (www.lovesintention.com), an internet platform formed on Valentine’s Day 2016. Through the course of developing a LovesIntention lifestyle, it’s been richly satisfying to serve with compassion at the core. Even through the chapters of personal brokenness, living authentically with an intent to serve with a Philos love has been a healing force to continue forward – LOOKING UP!
The Beatles were right, by the way: “Love is All You Need”. What can be done to shape a more loving world? Start a movement in the heart of hearts. Your heart. Whatever passions inspire an energy to give, serve, and connect in your community; that’s the jumping off point to fly like an eagle.
Love of the third kind. Fly there often.