Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How Do I Love Thee...

I never was much of a love-letter writer. When I was in love, or thought I was, I generally never allowed myself to get very far away from the one I was focused on. The summer before Donna and I were married, I spent eleven weeks in Holland working with a couple of churches there and helping with the Campaign groups from Harding University that were there part of that time. I wrote a lot of letters that summer - probably daily or at least every other day. So, while I don't claim to be an expert in writing love letters, I do know a few things that a love letter doesn't do. A love letter is not vague, unclear, or hard to interpret. The writer doesn't try to communicate love with tricky textually ambiguous pronouncements. The love-struck doesn't hide his or her wants, needs, and intentions in puzzles that have to be pieced together over multiple letters. The seeking of a relationship is not hidden by stories, impeccable logic, or meaningless challenges of loyalty. The message is not complicated, convoluted, or concealed from all except the scholarly and legalistic. While it will aways be informative, the heart and soul of a love letter only has two points: I love you - and - don't you want to love me back?
I remember the first time I heard someone say that the New Testament was a love letter not a law book. I thought they were being too simplistic - almost heretical, but now, not only do I see it as a love letter, but a simple love letter from God, and, yes, it is heretical - to those who still see it as a twenty-seven book jigsaw puzzle filled with new laws and rules to discover and obey.
When you read the Word looking for God's message of love, you realize that He's not trying to present a series of hurdles to jump, but giving us the tools - the keys - to getting closer and closer to Him. He is clear and to the point. In fact, He only has two points! He declares His love for us, including all He has done to show that love, and He asks us to love Him back - with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Forget Hallmark! No one does it better than God!

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