The love test…this was a phrase repeated to me by two friends who were talking to me about God late Friday night. They said a GB of other things but my mind kept focusing on this phrase.
What does this mean? What is love anyways? We hear it all the time in churches, mosques; it’s in the Bible, the Quran and probably every religious book out there but do we actually understand it. I thought I understood it until I got thinking on Friday. It seems I had been living by an outdated version of love. I thought It was easy to love. I mean I love my friends. That’s easy. Hardly worth testing. However, showing love to people you don’t even like is…not so easy. This is what the love test is all about.
They are ordinary opportunities to show extra-ordinary love. Extra-ordinary because it is about as easy as eating custard (or your equivalent of the worst food ever).
So imagine this. Your roommate can be really obnoxious and annoying and she makes you really mad. So this week, she’s really sick and her dirty plates pile up. You’re on your way to wash your own plates. You pick up your sponge and soap. In the process, your eyes cross over the piled up plates. A mental battle goes through your head.
a) Wash it for her. She’s ill.
b) Leave it. She called you fat last week. Serves her right.
See, it’s like a normal test. There’s a problem to be solved. There are options. Only one is correct.
The options could be more complicated.
c) Wash it for her and rub it in her face afterwards.
d) Demand a favor before washing it.
What would you pick? Option a? Really?…yeah, me too. Well, maybe option c.
Well we’d be wrong. Only one is actually correct. And most of the time, we know this. We know what to do but because this person has annoyed us, because the person won’t do the same for us, we knowingly pick the wrong option.
I think the cheat to passing these tests is to treat everyone like a sibling. Me, I have three siblings- a brother and 2 sisters. And they get on my nerves everyday (even more than other people do) but I love them to death. If my little sister took my book or my clothes, I’d be mad. I’d yell at her but in the next minute we’d be talking like normal. Not only that but I’d be defending her to my parents. She won’t always apologize and she’d probably do it again but I can’t stay mad at her.
My other sister. We fight like cats and dogs, nearly every minute. In fact we got into an awful row about clothes on Monday morning. But the thing is before the morning ran out; we were talking like nothing happened. She saw something cool on TV and she yelled for me to come and see it. Neither of us remembered that we were not supposed to be talking.
My brother. Urgh. He’s the worst. But oddly, he’s the easiest to love. He’s more stubborn than I am and that’s saying something. He and I physically fight, like “hold my earrings; I’m gonna slap this boy back to last week!” kind of fight but if you see me praying for him, you’d think the end of the world was coming.
This is completely parallel with my relationship with other people. With others, I’m always so concerned with winning the argument and not being the one to yield first. It’s so petty. With my siblings, it’s easy. No matter how and no matter what, I’d always want the best for them. But it should be easy with other people too, because guess what, they are all our siblings. We do have one origin so… yah.
Okay, so I know that not everyone has such a relationship with their siblings and some people have no siblings. But you must have somebody you love so much that you can’t just not talk to them; that one minute you decide you are keeping malice with them and the next you pull them aside to tell them a joke you remembered; that even when they make you mad, you still want the best for them. Did you think of someone? Treat everyone like that. Yes, not everybody deserves it but you don’t love because it is reciprocated. You love because it is demanded of you, because you can’t not love, because you have been created with that much love in you.
And even if you don’t have any relationship like that to draw from, remember that Jesus died for you. So draw from that. He loved us enough to die so our sins could be forgiven. The least we can do is love someone enough to forgive them without a cost- no death involved.
According to mother Theresa, the smile is the beginning of love so why not begin by meeting everyone with a smile.
I hope all this makes sense. I have a tendency to go off topic.