Written by: Theresia Titus
It’s Good Friday, so let’s talk about Love.
On a particular challenging day, I went to St Mary Cathedral, Perth. I needed some peace. A break. So I went to the Cathedral, and kneeled in front of Sacred Heart of Jesus statue. I could not get a word when I tried to pray for the sake of praying, so I started to pray by talking to Him like He was really there. Well He is always with me but you know, at times like that, when life gives us lemons..we often feel like God is missing. So at that moment, I felt God was missing and I really needed a friend to listen my rumblings without judging or left me feeling misunderstood. I really needed the Friend. Hence I came to Him. I chatted with God for about 30 minutes. I told him about my life, I said things like: why do I have to go through this sh*t? I don’t know what to do anymore. I am really tired.
I kept talking like as if He was there, present with me, listening. Halfway through, I started to feel a lot better. Relieved. And I could really tell that I felt at peace. At the end, I said to Him: okay gotta go home now. I love You. Then I stood up and turned around. As I turned, in a very subtle way.. super subtle almost unnoticeable.. I heard: I love you too. My heart skipped a bit, tears swelled up upon catching it and then I said: I know. I smiled and went home. I will never forget that.
Love. I spent more than a decade of my still-very short-life trying to find out the definition of love. Back then when I was so much younger, I kept asking questions to myself: why do people get a divorce if they love each other? How can two people who said they love each other, end their relationship just like that? How can two people who were so in love be strangers again?.. Then one day, I bumped into 1 Corinthians 13:4-13:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I read it, still I did not get what God was trying to say to me. Don’t get me wrong, those verses described Love so epically. I have learnt that it is the best definition of Love and I will tell you why in a second.
After bumping into those verses, God then let me know 1 John 4:8, “...God is love“. My reaction was: huh? Then why people get divorce, they said they love each other.. why?? It seemed I was becoming more flustered. So I prayed and asked Him: You said You are Love then why there are wars and conflicts? He did not answer my prayer straight away. I waited for years. But at last He answered everything when i heard the song called ‘We Are The Reason’ at my first ICYO retreat in 2010.
Love is not a thing. It is not a feeling. It is not the pinky hearts or the kiss emoticons you gave to someone. It is not the gifts. It is not the romantic words. It is not the flowers and the dates. It is not holding hands while looking into each others’ eyes.
To me, based on His answer, Love is a verb and God is Love. Jesus is Love. Why? Because when He died for us He did not die the easy way. Think about it. He could have died by getting the soldiers stabbed Him in the heart instead. Then why He needed to carry super heavy wooden cross to Golgotha, fell down three times, beaten by the soldiers, nailed down and bleed to death? He is a King. He is God. He is so almighty that nothing was impossible. Then why He took the hard way of dying? The answer is simple: because when we love, we fight for the ones we love. When we love, we sacrifice. When we love, we make a decision to give and give without asking something in return. When we love, we endure. Most importantly, when we love, we are patient and kind to others. Jesus fought for us. He sacrificed. He gives and keeps on giving without asking something in return. He endures pain for us. He gave us a lesson nothing or no one will ever be able to take away from us. His way of death is the most profound, holiest act of Love. And since He is Love Himself, understand that when we don’t love, don’t fight and sacrifice, are unkind and impatient, we don’t know God. He took the hard way of dying to show us what Love means, to answer my questions. It is in the carrying of our own crosses we love.
I am not saying I know so much about live or I am a master of love. There is only one Master, Him. I am still learning and so are you. But from now on, I invite you to remember Good Friday as the day to celebrate Love, to celebrate God. He won over death, over the Devil by carrying His cross for people who hurt Him. He already won when He died on that cross for us. Remember, He loves us so dearly and to love one another as He has loved us. Let’s carry our crosses for with a grateful heart.
Have a blessed Good Friday!