Marginal Love

So I’ve been dwelling on this question that I first posted last week and really trying find out in my heart what Love really is. As I thought about Love, in its truest form, I found myself asking the question, “Do I know what this True Love is?” I reflected on my week and the world around me and I honestly could not come up with an answer to my own question.

I look at my life; my relationships, my job, my dreams and I realize that the Love that I dwell in is so marginal! I even approach myself with this marginal love.

What do I mean by marginal love? I think it is a love that can only be seen on the outskirts of my life, as if it is the borders on the page of a story. I noticed that I really only love myself when I feel that I’m living in success and prosperity that I have defined. Many times I only love others when I know that I will receive love in return, or when I feel that I need to make my soul feel better, so I extend a helping hand. This marginal love that I dwell in is so unsatisfying! I find myself longing for relationships that are deeply rooted together, intertwining their roots and drinking from the same source of life. My soul longs to love without regard and give without return, but my hands are still clinched tightly against my chest. The beat of my heart wants to flow with the unforced rhythms of grace, but finds that it stubbles over my own two feet as the rhythm is unfamiliar to me. The walls of pain, self-love, and fear trap me in my own heart as I try and carve a peeping hole to see if Love exists outside of these walls.

What would it look like if there was no such thing as this marginal love? If the outskirts of our lives became the very essence of who we are as people? What if I actually loved myself for nothing more than the mere fact that I am called loved and beautiful by my creator? How would my heart change if I walked in this love? When I came across someone in need or in pain, would it be a struggle for me to stop and listen to their story, or would I let my story be interwoven into theirs so that we could become a beautiful novel together?

You see I ask myself this question of “What is Love?” and I think that this is a question that we do not ask ourselves enough. If we really wanted the answer to this question it starts with laying the books of our lives open to let people read, and not yanking them away to shut them when we get to an embarrassing part. As our stories are read, we are connected more intimately to others than we can know. Our roots begin to intertwine and we begin to support each other and find life together at the same time. The hands that were once found clinched tightly at our chest are not found warmly wrapped around a friend in a loving embrace. And the ballroom will be full of friends and guests dancing a beautifully unforced waltz that is played on the heartstrings of our souls.

So the question is not as abstract as “What is Love?”, but rather “Am I Loving?” Do I love enough to open up the love story of my life to be read and studied? Or are the walls of pain, self-love, and fear keeping me from publishing the beautiful work of art that is the story of my heart?

Let’s begin to walk in this beauty. Finding every story valuable and loved as Christ does. Calling people beautiful and loved because that is what the creator calls us. Not being able to put the stories aside and go to sleep because we are too interested in hearing what is to come next. What a story we live!

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