“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
–1 John 3:18 (TNIV).
Life has so many ironies and paradoxes. Think of this one: love. We tell someone that we love them. Cool; that got their attention. We told the truth of how we feel, and it feels good—both in how we feel and how they feel. But words have a funny way of revealing an intent that can often not be backed up in action.
True love is not about words at all—in fact, it’s the dead opposite. Love is about fear and how we deal with it. Love and fear are both overwhelming and paralysing forces, respectively. When we pretend that love is simply about words we denigrate love to some touchy, feely subject; hardly a shadow of the great power she truly is.
Love manifested in loving someone authentically and openly—against the fear, and in spite of rejection—reveals situational awareness and the courage to face an onslaught of emotions, possibilities and realities we’d not ordinarily want to face up to. This courage takes faith; and an abiding hope fuels this faith. We can now see the engine room that surrounds and supports and embodies love, powering her on—in action.
Love is the unspoken language because, despite all of the energy and support and virtue love has behind her, she still must act. There are no excuses. And love, a chief virtue, looks for no excuses. She must do her work.
Practically, it’s just like this:
An expression of love is generally either courageous or selfless (or both)—both actions are seemingly difficult, requiring support.
ü We show our love via an act of affection—we must go with our heart, denying our fear just for the moment—in effect, acknowledging the fear yet going on in any event.
ü We show our love via an act of kindness or genuine love-felt sacrifice—we must have faith to do and just do, without hope or want of return—the loveliest love.
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.