I was (lovingly) accosted at a recent street fair by a woman insistent that my only path to salvation was through attendance at a certain local church. When I proved to be gently resistant to her admonitions, she went for the Big Finish: “God loves you anyhow,” she said as she turned her attention to a more likely prospect. Good to know.
Does God love us? To properly answer that question we need clear definitions of the three key words: God, love and us.
Does a supreme being named God feel love or affection toward distinct beings named you and me? If not, then what do we mean when we claim God’s love in our lives – or when we grieve over its perceived absence?
God is not a being that loves; God is love. I’ve written before that we could—and perhaps should—substitute the word ‘love’ for the word ‘God’ whenever it appears. How might the world change if our immediate association with the divine were of a gentle, non-judgmental, non-exclusive energy of Love eternally present?
We are immersed in Love as a fish is immersed in the ocean. The Presence and Power of God – the love that God is – flows within us and around us and extends into distances and dimensions more vast than we can even imagine.
To say that God loves us is to sell ourselves way short. God is eternal Love, endless and always available. Divine Love is not earned, and it is never denied or withheld. It is present within you, expressing as you – it is the very Truth of your being. So the statement that God loves you is ultimately meaningless. God and you and love are all one great ocean of power and possibility – and yet each element is distinct, with a unique role in the overall unity of all things.
Standing at a street fair, holding a cone of greasy French fries, is not really an appropriate time to launch into preaching mode, so I silently appreciated her faith, blessed her and moved on. I welcome every opportunity to re-affirm, if only to myself, the utter simplicity of Truth.