For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love,
But to be loved alone.
- from W.H.Auden's poem "September 1, 1939"
Our God-given hungers and desires get us into trouble only when we seek to have them satisfied in all the wrong places. One of our most basic hungers, shared universally, is the desire to be loved.
But we don't just long to be loved...period. We long to be loved exclusively. We crave a love that is huge and overwhelming and consuming...all. the. time.
We long for someone to love us so much that they seek us out, court us, woo us, draw us in. And we long for someone to love us enough to keep seeking and courting and wooing and drawing us in...even after they've already sufficiently won our hearts.
We want someone to love us so much that they think of us constantly, that we never have to wonder, "What were they thinking? Didn't they consider how I would feel?" We never have to doubt their motives and we never feel unloved.
We want a love that is bold. We want no apologies for being loved so passionately. In fact, we want the one who loves us to demonstrate that love...openly...boldly...and yet privately, too. We want our lover to tell all how much he loves us. And we want him to whisper it intimately into our souls, like a treasured secret.
We desire a consistent love...one that never fails, never is exhausted, never wanes. And yet we long for a love that is fresh every day, spontaneous, full of sweet surprises and intimate moments.
But we don't just want to be loved with that big and all-consuming love by just anyone. That would be yucky, right? No, we want the one who loves us that way to be loveable, desirable, worthy of our returned affection. We want to be equally consumed with the one who loves us to such a degree. In other words, we want to be in love. We want a powerful and mutual, all-consuming and brilliant love.
Here's the problem...
No one on this earth can love us that way. And if we love someone else that way...we have a problem. That extreme, exclusive, consuming love is completely unhealthy when it is shared between any two human beings. Such a love is dangerous when shared between two people.
And here's the solution...
Let the lover of your soul show you how very much He loves you. He can even love you...alone.
Song of Solomon 6:3 is feeding my soul these days. What scripture is feeding your hungry soul?
Labels: love, My Daily Bread