07 September 2008

Deranged Love

I was reading this in The Four Loves chapter on Affection we are reading this week. It was pretty interesting....
If people are already unlovable a continual demand on their part (as of right) to be loved - their manifest sense of injury, their reproaches, whether loud and clamorous or merely implicit in every look and gesture of resentful self-pity - produce in us a sense of guilt (they are intended to do so) for a fault we could not have avoided and cannot cease to commit. They seal up the very fountain for which they are thirsty. If ever, at some favoured moment, any germ of Affection for them stirs in us, their demand for more and still more petrifies us again. And of course such people always desire the same proof of our love; we are to join their side, to hear and share their grievance against someone else. If my boy really loved me he would see how selfish his father is....if my brother loved me he would make a party with me against my sister....if you loved me you wouldn't let me be treated like this....

How does our dear author do that - word things in such a way as to say what you've been wanting to say your whole life? I have known people just like this - who I have ached to love in a way that would break through all of this, and yet their ravenous need incapacitates you to give at the level in which it would be recognized. It is important to know that this isn't my failure but perhaps something in that person that was broken long before I entered the world by way of her womb. Jesus, can you fix even this mess?
Reading C.S. Lewis is like theological crack - it stimulates so many thoughts and brings to the forefront so many things that lay internalized with seemingly no voice with which to come out. It is painful sometimes - like therapy - but it really helps me get my head on straight.


  1. I'm just not comprehending this paragraph, my brain hurts thinking about it.
    How does this say what you wanted to say?
    Can you explain it to me in plain english? LOL!
    Is it basically talking about those people who are hard to love?
    In that case I get it, they are the ones who need it the most.
    I definitely used to fall in the *hard to love* category at least by my family. My friends always loved me :)

  2. Out h'yere in the wuds we kawl that tawk high-fallutin!


    Summary: Loud, demanding, unlovable people often use manipulation to make us feel guilty about the lack of love we have for them. They keep us from loving them by their actions even as the thing they want most is to love them.

    Even when a time comes that for whatever reason we feel a little love for them growing their badgering and obnoxious manner makes us scrunch up and not give them love.

    Those who demand love also demand proof of love, as in, "If you love me____!"

    Is that about right? It's about loving the unlovable.

    My comment: No, Jesus can't fix the mess. We have to. We have to choose love, and choose to love. We have to overlook the obnoxious, the body odor, the mean spirit, the selfishness and love right on through it, even when it hurts. That is the demand Jesus made of us. It is also how he loves us. He loves the innocent child and the serial killer.

    Love is not a feeling. It never has been. It is a choice and a way to respond. In relationships it's learning the nature of someone (a relative, a co-worker) and finding ways into their heart or at least finding ways to express love, even when we don't want to and even when they won't see it or appreciate it.

    There's a difference, by the way, between co-dependency and true love-by-choice. The former caters to the person doing the demanding while the second does the right thing even when it might irritate or distance the person demanding. Does that make sense?

    The love our Creator demands is simple. Place everyone's needs (not necessarily desires) above our own. Simple. Not always easy.


  3. Well said, Ted. This is what my pastor preached upon on Sunday - Love is a verb, something you do. It is also a choice. I read a book by that title once. It helped me tremendously with my co-dependency issues. I think I need to bring it out and re-read it. I do think truly loving the unlovable is something we can only do through Christ not within our own power. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I enjoyed reading them. Mel

  4. I'm glad you appreciated my thoughts, Mel. I do not believe, however, that either the commandment or the ability to love the unloved is exclusively a Christian thing. I am not a Christian. I find the same obligation to love without measure in the teachings of Buddha. And that's not the only place it's found.

    Ultimately love comes to us from our Creator. A Christian recognizes Jesus and the Spirit as the giver of love, and they are, but the love that comes form them is, ultimately, FROM the Creator. All humans have his nature implanted within our genetic makeup. Part of that nature is ultimate forgiveness and ultimate love, which is, in effect, what loving the unloved is all about.

    No one can love completely without forgiving completely. Once we can forgive, we can love.

    I would hope that the forgiveness and love I offer and give to all, even those who may consider themselves my enemy, would not be considered invalid or inadequate because I do not offer them "In Christ."

    Ultimately, again, love comes from our Creator. His love is, of course, revealed in the mission of Jesus but it is also found in every act of kindness, every act of forgiveness, the sparkle in every child's eye no matter who they are, where they live, or what they profess.

  5. I agree, Ted, true love comes from our Creator, it is a supernatural love. For me that is "In Christ" or through Christ that His love can be manifested, at least that is what I aspire to. You have made me think though and I do agree that love, kindness and forgiveness are not soley Christian concepts but at least for me, as a Christian, the full measure of Love comes from Christ. Hope this makes sense - I would love to converse with you more about this later, perhaps after Ike is gone. Mel

  6. Hi Mel.
    I understand your point of view. Used to have it m'self. I'd be glad to talk more. I have a blog, a myspace, and assorted emails. Catch me quickest at tedgresham997@aol.com.

    Eyes on Ike today but looks like it's headed south.


  7. I'm sorry, but I couldn't help but of think of the typical narcissist as I read this. That's just where my thoughts went as I deal with that behavior regularly, within my own extended family.

    Yeah, deep stuff, that can make your brain hurt; but in a good way.


Awaiting your words......
♥ Juls ♥