When God Loves at First Sight

When God Loves at First Sight

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind…” (Luke 10:27) This is the first commandment. This is the kind of love with which all the Saints loved God, without having any attachments to things and people, having a single-mindedness of purpose, like a laser beam light, focused, intense, with God as the only object of their love.

I wonder how God thinks. Maybe, I can never fathom how. I am very human and my thoughts are very human. The Scriptures say, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is 55:9) But I can only go by my natural, human experience in trying to understand the supernatural, the mysterious ways of God. I often ponder why some people are instantly likeable, and some are just instantaneously obnoxious. There are people who are just attracted towards one another as friends, and there are people who suddenly feel antipathy without any rational explanation for it. I have some friends I’m really very fond of. It’s a kind of tenderness and warmth, a special favor I feel towards them. Most often, these people who enjoy my special favor are themselves showing a very special kind of fondness towards me. It’s like a given, an existential fact that the human psyche recognizes when it sees such special kind of fondness between persons.

When a person has this kind of love towards God, it is a truth that God cannot gloss over. It’s like a magnet attracting God. Likes attract. Love gravitates towards the object of its love. So when we love God with all our hearts, all our minds, and all our strength, it’s like God is swooning, humanly speaking, over our love for Him. As a recognition of that truth, God “falls in love at first sight” with His children. It’s like the total adoration, admiration, and dependence of a child towards its parent. It’s the kind of love that makes God “weak”, humanly speaking, if God can be described in human terms.

I often thought of Jacob and Esau and asked why Yahweh favored Jacob over Esau. As the Scriptures say, “The elder shall serve the younger.” (Gn 25:23) And so it went that Jacob tricked his older brother to sell his birthright as a firstborn son to him and tricked his father into giving the blessing of a firstborn son to him. Not that God loved tricks and fraud but that God saw what was in Jacob’s heart and what was in Esau’s. God knew, in His omniscience and foreknowledge, that Esau would trade his birthright for a morsel of meat, and it was Jacob who would seriously take on the responsibility of a firstborn son, from whom the twelve tribes of Israel would originate. God knew.

In the Gospel according to Luke 7:47, Jesus forgave the prostitute woman who when she learned that Jesus was dining at Simon the Pharisee’s house, stood behind Jesus at His feet, wept and began to wet His feet with her tears, wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed His feet and anointed them with perfume. Then Jesus said, “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” God knows our sins and He knows our love. God does not miss a thing. And He knows when our love for Him far outweighs our many sins.

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