The Most Deeply Personal Thing I have is Love
My love is one of the most deeply personal things I have. It feels finite. I’m finite. My days pass by. Often, they pass before I am ready for them to end. My body seems to become more finite each year. There were two suicide attempts in my teenage years. There was my near-death scare with Covid in March 2020, while I was in my mid-30s. The latter has really slowed me down. It has shown me the cracks in this vessel that is my body.
The love I have to give feels finite. Of all that I have to give, I think that love might be the most precious. I am capable of being kind, gracious, and compassionate with much greater ease. With greater abundance, too. Yet, when it comes to love.
I don’t want my love to be diluted. It cannot still be love if it can be captured in a moment, a film, or a glance. You may catch me being loving, but only in the way that one sees some of the light given off by a star in the heavens.
Part of me wants love to be this sacred. To exist in such simplicity. That the sacredness of love isn’t due to its complexity or how loud it is. Maybe love is sacred because it takes a lifetime to love. Maybe love is so finite because I can so easily destroy it.
Sustaining love involves a million choices. It can only be a gift for someone else. There are times in my life that I’ve had to let my love sit waiting. There are people for whom it is waiting today. May my love be patient, gentle, and without boasting. May it be waterproof on the stoop of their door.
God has a love for me. A love that meets the fragile and finite love I have to give. Love from God sustains me in its presence and abundance. Even when I turn away from it throughout the day, it never wavers. It is a love that I aspire to accept. To not turn away from. To be able to give. To give back to God. To be able to give to those I choose.
The love of God has been a teacher. An invitation to learn how to love. For no one told me the depths of myself that love would require. No one warned me that loving wholly can leave you feeling full and empty at the same time. The deeper I fall into love, the more I must choose to let go of all hatred. That this letting go can make the whole world feel out of balance.
There is nothing more personal I have to give. There is a limit to my love. As I follow the way of Jesus, I find myself giving away what I have. I know the bottom of my love is close. Yet, so far, I still have love to give.
Paul Prins on 5 July 2023 in Paris, France.