Monday, December 26, 2011

Christ Was Love

Happy day-after-Christmas. Boxing day? Yeah. Happy Boxing Day.

Christmas was beautiful this year. I have so many great people in my life.

I've been thinking a lot about that cute little story that gets emailed around so often; the one about the little kids putting on the school Christmas program. They were supposed to hold up letters spelling the phrase "CHRISTMAS LOVE," but the little girl holding the M had it upside down. Everyone chuckled until they realized that the message now held something deeper: "CHRIST WAS LOVE."

Love has been a big deal in my life for the past little while. I mean, Charity has always been one of my favorite aspects of the gospel, but this goes even beyond that. In the past year I've seen people start relationships, end them, long for them, and refuse them. I read most of Thomas Hardy's books, and determined that Love was a choice. I loved all of my friends, deeply and truly - I chose to do so. I read old conference talks and Papa Lewis. I liked friends, guys in my life, and I ached too much. So I went back to loving them and trying to figure out what I meant by it.

I just finished Hemingway's A Moveable Feast and am working through my feelings. It was a beautiful book, and honest. But truly sad. Sad in its articulation of the human will towards self-destruction. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, even Hemingway himself - they all spiraled out of happiness in pursuit of self-gratification posing as Love. And as nearly every Woody Allen movie can attest, relationships founded in solipsism find expression not in joy, but in a type of poignant melancholia.

"Love" (note the quotation marks, here implying our cultural projections of the term) has become a plague. Bandied about with every breath, the phrase has little real meaning left in it. Our own vain repetitions have almost robbed us of the purest experience that humans are capable of realizing. Our culture is obsessed with "love" - justified by it, actualized by it. For the past two years I have been lost in society's labyrinthine construction of the term. And whether "love" is the prize, the magic thread, or the minotaur, I doubt anyone could say. Regardless, though, we are constantly working to become une génération perdue.

Now, the day after Christmas, I've had an epiphany. It is so simple: Christ was Love. That's it. So, to be "in Love" with someone is to be "in Christ" with them. Isn't that the most true and beautiful thing you've ever heard?

I want to be in Love with everyone.