i cannot love.

sweet words remain locked within the confines of my heart, begging to escape through my mouth into the atmosphere, but my mind, fickle, keeps them locked up, refusing their release.
my arms stay at my sides, longing to reach out and embrace the person in front of me, but my mind, fickle, does not allow them to move.

why?
what is this thing within me, that would keep me from loving the person in front of me?
why is it so hard to say a word of encouragement, give a warm embrace, or simply lend an ear and actually listen to someone’s heart?

if there is something i have learned in this life thus far, it is this: i cannot love.
i cannot.
i try and give something that i think is love to the people i know deserve it, but it breaks into pieces somewhere in the space between my heart and tongue, stumbling out in a language i’ve never heard, frail and weak, lacking substance, missing authenticity, tinged with pride, tainted by fear.
that is not love.
love is strong, fearless, bold, humble, tender, understanding, and raw.
what is then this thing that i give people that i call love?
awareness.
acceptance.
pity.
i greet you to show i am aware of you, i hug you to show i accept you, and i give you a smile to show i pity you.
that is what i have to offer.
i have nothing else.
there is nothing better i have to give.
nothing.

i cannot love.
i cannot.
i know not how! my mother showed me that love is sacrifice and care, and my father said to play with my siblings nicely and to give my grandmother a call on her birthday; but what do i do when there is nothing to sacrifice for, no one needs care, my siblings are all grown up and no longer play with me in the forest, and my grandmother has passed on from this life?
can i love even then?
give me a set of instructions, a list of rules, a map clearly drawn out, and maybe i can love.
but how can i love when the future is unknown, each day is uncertain, and the people in front of me are calloused and unforgiving?
how can i love then?
i cannot love.
i cannot.

love is too great a thing to ask of man.
for man is fickle, and love is not.
we love and then we hate, we embrace and then we push away. we say a kind word to our friend and to our enemy we curse. we know how to love the rich, the popular, and the beautiful, but do we know how to love the poor, the rejected, and the ugly?
love is too great a thing to ask of man.
and i am only a man.

i cannot love those i am called to love.
i cannot love those who hurt me.
i cannot love those who have nothing to offer me.
i cannot love those who are needy.
i cannot love those who have bad breath, rotting teeth, smelly clothes, and a stutter.
i cannot.
i cannot love the mentally challenged, the elderly, the homeless.
i cannot love the angry neighbor, the socially inept teenager who only wants to talk about conspiracy theories, the crying toddler, or the friend who needs to talk about their problems every time i see them.
i cannot.

see, ever since i was young the world told me to consume love.
but then i met Love,
and He consumed me.
and then He filled me with a love i have still not fully grasped.

it’s weighty, it bears down on me hard, a heavy affection, breaking every dark thing that remains within me.
it is a violent grace that commands my every thought and pursues my every step.
it is the only thing within me worth anything.
and it screams to be released.
it demands that i give it to all that i see and know.
so why would i withhold it?
why would i keep love captive?

it is me.
i am the only reason i do not love.
i am the only one that gets in the way.
so i must die, so that He can love through me.
because if i do not, i will never love.
if i live, i live for myself, but if i die, i die for others, that they may experience his love through my feeble hands and untrained tongue, made powerful under the strength of his mighty Spirit, who is LOVE.
by myself i cannot love.
i cannot.
logically, love does not make sense unless i receive love back. it does not make sense to love the unloveable. it does not make sense to give to those who only take.
but this Love doesn’t make sense.
it’s not logical.
it is foolish.
this Love is death.
and yet through this death i receive life.

and so i die.
sometimes i must die several times a day.
i have become familiar with the cross that bears my name.
it is not as heavy as His was.
i bear gladly.
i bear it for one reason.
for Love, and so that i can love.
without it, i cannot.
i cannot love.

it is only by Him who is Love that i can love.

i cannot love.
but He can.

One thought on “i cannot love.

  1. At first I didn’t know where this was going. But as I read on I became fully aware of what you were saying and it was so powerful! I love this!

    Like

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