You know those ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâèÏlove language' books? The ones you've never actually read, but you sat in the back of a bookstore once and took the test out of the back? Well, if you have, you probably know your ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâèÏlanguage' – the way you give and receive love. For some, it's gift-giving that shows love, or doing something nice for someone. Others love through affirmation, through a hug or a held hand. And there are people who just want to spend time with people they love.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you're probably already Googling it already to see where you fit. But take a second think about this first: what's God's ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâèÏlove language?'
I've got a theory. It has to be gift-giving. The whole Old Testament is full of burnt offerings and sacrifices. Sheep, doves, all sorts of things went on altars to God the Father. So it has to be giving gifts.
Or are those acts of service? They're doing service to Him by following the precepts of the faith and making sacrifices… that would all seem to fall under doing something for someone you love.
But wait… maybe it's affirmation. David danced and sang before the Lord, praising Him with the Psalms. What is worship other than affirmation to a God who deserves it? So now I've got it – God is loved through affirmation.
Hmm’Ìâ‰âÂÌâ_ but Jesus came and spent a few decades of quality time with us, and gave us the Eucharist so that we could physically touch and be one with him. So it looks like He actually has all the bases covered.
So, you probably figured out where I was going with my theory from the second paragraph, but the point wasn't actually the theory. The point is that God loves in all ways; whatever way you give and receive love, God can meet you there. Because God doesn't just love, God is love. We see that phrase on bumper stickers and pins and guitar cases, but what it really means theologically is that God is love itself. The two can't be pulled apart, and anytime we tap into true, genuine love … we're tapping into our Creator.
This week, take some time in prayer to reflect on when you've felt most loved (by God or even by your family). It's true that each of us may experience that love in a different way … but when you take it to prayer, recognize that God can love you in that way. It's not just about how He receives, but how He overwhelmingly loves. God is ready to affirm you, and through the act of service of the Cross has given us the ultimate gift of salvation. He will spend as much time with you as you allow, and a physical touch is as close as your nearest Eucharistic chapel.
Go. Love. God.