Love without shoulds
The math of love is strange...
You’d think that love that comes with demands would lead to positive change. That conditional love would cause right conditions.
But as you probably well know, it doesn’t...
God gave us the law (the commandments and all of the ‘shoulds’ and ‘should-nots’ written on our hearts) to protect us - if even a little bit - from each other.
Sure, demands and shoulds help curb our aggression toward each other. The law is well and good. But it doesn’t bring anyone to love anyone else. And it doesn’t bring anyone to love God.
God’s love gave us the law. But God’s love is infinitely deeper than the law. God’s love has no conditionality. No demands. It does not depend on us.
Divine love is love without demands - unconditional love. It is agape love - love that sustains, redeems, and renews. You know this to be true if you’ve ever been loved by a love that has no ‘buts’ or ‘ands’ (“You’re loved, BUT/AND you should...”) you know what this does to you…
It makes you WANT to be a better person. Not because you SHOULD or MUST. But because you CAN.
It makes no sense. How does not requiring me to do anything produce a nuclear desire in me to do exactly that thing? How does surrendering something make it more likely to happen?
This is the mystery.
Unconditional love is unnerving. It’s rare, almost impossible, to find in the world. And we kinda don’t know what to do with it when we encounter it.
This love is grace. It is the divine announcement that you are loved and accepted just as you are. It says that all has been taken care of. All of the belonging you’ve been striving for has been yours the whole time. Nothing additional from you is required or needed.
This is the Gospel - the good news that hums at the base of your existence. In this, you are free. Unnerved, yes. But free.