HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED THE PHYSICAL SENSATION OF LOVE? Valentine’s Day is coming up, but it’s my love for God I’m trying to parse. What does love feel like? Wikipedia gives information, including three Greek words for love—eros, phileo, and agape, the latter being the highest form of selfless, unconditional love. And there’s the Apostle Paul’s grand exposition of love in 1 Corinthians 13—what love is and what it’s not.
None of this, though, addresses the sensation of love.
Most of us know about physical feelings associated with sexual love, and while deeper feelings may accompany it, there’s a huge difference between love and lust, and even between a dictionary definition and a heart love for God.
Consider God’s love for us. I’m currently reading a book by Brennan Manning called The Furious Longing of God. In it Manning says,
Imagine a stormy day at sea, your ship yielding to a relentless wind, pummeled by crashing waves, subject to the awesome force…that is both fierce and majestic. A power that is nothing short of furious. Such is God’s intense, consuming love for His children. It’s a love that knows no limits, and no boundaries. A love that will go to any lengths, take any risks, to pursue us.
If God loves like that, how can I possibly reciprocate? He longs for heart love and not just head knowledge. Love the Lord with all your heart… Feeling is different from mentally acknowledging love. The heart somehow must be deeply involved.
What do I actually feel when I worship this God who loves furiously? There’s certainly an intensity in my heart region, but my entire body reaches out toward this Lover who draws me into His presence.
St. Valentine ran afoul of the Roman emperor who thought marriage would make his soldiers weak. Valentine saw the benefits of Christian marriage and performed his ceremonies secretly. He was arrested and sentenced to beating, stoning, and finally beheading. The story goes that his last written words were to his jailer’s blind daughter whom he had healed, signing it, “From your Valentine.”
Borrowing some of Valentine’s passion, I sing,
Years ago, I dreamed that Jesus hugged me. My heart felt ready to burst!
Please tell me your moments of intense love. Your stories can touch us all.
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