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Psalm 119: 165

Quick catch-up
  • I've been working on papers non-stop for approximately two days.
  • I have three projects and three exams left until the end of my first academic semester of graduate school.
  • The advent dinner party went fabulously, and I had so much fun that I didn't even mind how much work I've done since Sunday.
  • Tonight there were three deer in the ditch behind our apartment. They were so close I could have spit a watermelon seed and hit them.
  • Studio 60 is wonderful. I don't care if it isn't as good as the West Wing. It makes me happy.
  • It is freezing in the apartment.
Now for the narrative. In my five to ten minute breaks over the past two days, I have had a chance to clean up my room (you can't tell) and spot read a few blogs. This wasn't procrastination, it was necessitated pauses. Seven hours straight discussing the history of science communication and the popularization of science is enough to drive even me batty.

I found this on Pritcher's blog.
"That's the secret, of course, of Augustine's exhortation to 'Love, and do what you will.' It's not that we should do whatever we want so long as we're nice about it, but rather that we should seek to know Love, and do what Love compels us in Love to do. And always that means sharing Love."
A while back, a friend of mine was explaining the difference between this Love and romantic love. Then tonight, Dana was looking for verbs that had more than one meaning. I'm pretty sure she wound up using "swear," but it still got me thinking.

There is Love, as in God and his love for us. There is love, as in the kind you have for your family in friends. There is also loving something, like a sport or cooking, etc. And finally there is being in love.

(I warn you that any potential gushiness is likely a result of sleep deprivation. This is, however, when I seem to have the most thoughts on random existential subjects.)

So, I am obviously a big fan of Love. I tell God I love him, but I often think it is just appreciation. I'm not loving him with my whole heart or hard enough, or something. I feel like this is something that builds up over time. It is interesting that I have no problem telling God I love him even though I'm not sure I'm there yet. I don't think I could ever do that to a person. I would always wait until I was sure. I think Love is also the part of you that wants to take care of other people ... you know, the "love each other," bit.

This leads me to family and friends love. I don't think all families love each other, but I do believe they have to condition themselves OUT of it. Or I am incredibly lucky, because it seems to come pretty naturally. Friends are a different issue. This also builds over time, but it has limitations. I think many of my friends are defacto family and therefore work into this general category quickly.

I'm pretty sure that loving an activity (or something like that), is a matter of finding a connection with it that gives you inner harmony. I'm fairly certain this is Love in disguise.* God is trying to sneak in a bit here (not that I mind). Some people like their spiritual satisfaction in silence and others like it spiking a volleyball. I like mine as a combination. :)

*From the dictionary in the back of my Bible: "The love of God expresses itself in his many interventions of creation (Gn 1,3; Jb 38)." In other words, he's being sneaky. I love it!

Okay, and the big one. The Valentine's Day, sappy movie, romantic novel, wedding stories kind of love. I have to admit I am quite a sucker for these things. I fall into the trappings of believing in this idealized, classical music blaring in the background, sweep me off my feet romantic love. And I LOVE it. I usually consider it girly. Somehow it has crept into me that being in love weakens you. In truth, being in love makes you stronger.

I don't really know how to describe this kind of love, except to say that it is maybe having your eyes opened to the Love in another person. You can see all of the absolutely fabulous and wonderful things about them. You don't have blinders to the bad things, they are just completely outshone by the good ones. That's why people "glow" when they really like someone. It's like Moses needing a bucket to cover his head because he saw the light of God. Except it isn't direct light, it's filtered through the object of our affection, so we just glow.

I have recently fallen in love with an idea (as opposed to a person or sport). I don't think I am glowing (I can ask Dana though if you're interested), but I feel like I am being brought closer to God through it. It is kind of bizarre to love something that you can't feel or see or hear. I'm not sure I am even ready to articulate the idea. But, to bring it back to St. Augustine, I am compelled to silence as opposed to action (I'm not sure if this is permanent). If I am to share Love, I think I first need to get a grasp on human love. Then maybe I'll be ready to try something a little more challenging. I'll keep you updated.

For now, I am going to sleep. Tomorrow brings me one day and half of one project closer to the end of Fall 2006. I'm going to need all the rest I can get!

Love always (in whatever sense you think it applies to you), ~Heather

Photos are from Barcelona, inside the Sagrada Familia (left) and a lighting fixture from Casa Battlo.


pritcher said…
Speaking of love, there's a really interesting discussion on Amy Welborn's blog about the trend in some chruches to see Jesus as a sort of "boyfriend."

Also, have you read Graham Green's The End of the Affair? I just finished re-reading it 'cause I'll be teaching it in the spring, and it's both wonderful and about Love.

Good luck with the end of the semester!