Love is Seeing
Some people believe in love at first sight. While it might be tempting to suggest that one saw love before they stepped toward love; it would be wrong. In order to occupy space with the one we propose to have affection for, someone took a step whether it was a conscious one or not. So a step precedes sight. God, however can consciously complete every movement of love all at once because well, God is God and God can. God creates, steps toward, sees, stays and saves all at once. For everyone else there is a process before the spark. I’m not entirely opposed to the sentiment of love at first sight but the initial seeing is not what I will write about today.
The seeing I am referring to is beyond the point of initial physical attraction, though that is important I believe to a degree, in romance. What I am referring to is a seeing or perceiving through experiencing a person’s character. This could be better defined as taking the time to get to know someone. Giving one’s time to this task is in it of itself an act of love. To be known is to be loved. To get to know is to love. For there to be intimacy, individuals probe the depths of one another’s hearts and imagination to understand a person more fully. It is both a beautiful and terrifying process.
Because: what if we find out something about a person that we don’t like or find out that person has struggles that we didn’t know about at first? What if they have bad breath, or didn’t make as much money as we hoped, or what if that person is in a rough season, or what if they don’t have as many clear answers as we thought they had? None of this intimidated Jesus.
In John 13 Jesus washes the feet of his twelve disciples, the ones He knew and loved for 3 years. Jesus does this as one who already sees and knows them, but is also giving the disciples an opportunity to see and know Him more deeply while preparing them to see and love one another more deeply. The strategy of Jesus is brilliant because whenever He shows us something, He also encourages us and empowers us to do the same. Furthermore, Jesus washes the feet of even the one He knows will betray Him. Jesus sees, and what He sees is dark and dirty, yet He loves anyway.
My tendency is to fall more in love with people as time goes on, whether it be a friend or a romantic interest. If I enjoy spending time with someone a little bit, I will likely enjoy spending time with them a lot. It becomes a challenge for me to love others when they present a dishonest version of themselves. I think it has a lot to do with the enduring nature of love, the more love sees, the deeper one gets, the more time we choose to give when love is mutually shared, the stronger and more freeing that love becomes. Love grows in reciprocation. When both parties behold and abide, love grows. If one stops beholding or in some cases betrays, love can run dry from a one way flow.
I hope I keep seeing and allowing myself to be seen by God and others. I hope to never forget the flow of giving and receiving love. Jesus, preserve our hearts as our eyes stay set on love.