Commentary On This Is Who You Are
From This Is Who You Are. When one reads this, or the other parts of this series, one may immediately have thoughts of romantic love. Some may remember a name or a face, some a moment or a memory, some a movie or a song, and maybe even a regret. Through the different parts of this series, I had thoughts of all the above. What started as a desire to remind someone else of God’s love, has turned into an unveiling of His love for me. This is why it took me so long to write this last part. To write this, I dug through the pages of my Moleskines and through old posts, as well as looked at the etymologies of the terms I used. Most of all, I immersed myself in the Bible. For most of my life, I saw the Bible as a rule book, a code of conduct. I had missed the point. The Bible is a love story of the most epic nature. It is the romance of the universe that includes body, soul, and spirit, ultimate purpose, ultimate rejection, and ultimate love that led to ultimate redemption. It is about God’s love for man. Yet, in this infinite love story, is a very personal one. His love for me. His love for David Michael Antonio Bonifacio, despite all my failures, public and private, accidental and malicious. Within this infinite love is His love for you too. It is freely given and available to anyone who will receive His gift. Like any gift, you have to receive it to enjoy it. A child can’t play with Lego that stays in a box. Finally, within this love story, is His love for everyone else, and He loves them personally too. This includes everyone we love and hate, everyone we admire and disdain, everyone who supports us and threatens us. This includes everyone. “Then why is there pain and hurt in this world?” you ask. Because we have rejected love for imitations. We have praised independence and are embarrassed by dependence, when love is about surrender. We have become too wise and too practical for love, the wisdom of God, as Victor Hugo reminds us. We have become too materialistic and comfortable, and cannot accept that a life of sacrifice and laying one’s life is a worthy one. We have decided that some deserve love, and others don’t. In short, we are selfish, and that has always been the problem. In a world of conditional love, love will be witheld. In a world where love is witheld, pain and hurt will thrive. I say “we” because I include myself among the offenders. Yet, in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul gives us a model of how to live. “Be patient” He says. “Be kind.” and so on. In other words, show love, the real kind. People ask me question like “How should I treat homosexuals?”, or “How should I treat strangers?” or “How should I treat foreigners who intimidate me?” or “How should I treat people different from me?” Love them. Be patient. Be kind. So on… “How do I treat irritating people?” or “How do I deal with my rebellious kids?” Love them. Be patient. Be kind. So on… “How do I deal with enemies?” or “How do I deal with people who have hurt me?” Love them. Be patient. Be kind. So on… And what happens when you’ve shown extreme patience, extender kindness, and extreme everything on the list? He ends with this, “These 3 remain, faith, hope, and love…” In other words, we keep believing that the love we’ve sown will bear good fruit. That’s faith. We keep looking forward to that day of love’s harvest. That’s hope. And we do everything again. Be patient. Be kind. And so on… That’s love. Paul understood that love cannot be enforced, as many of us attempt to do. Love cannot be coerced. You cannot threaten someone with punishment so that they’ll love you – that’s manipulation. You cannot bribe love with blessings – that’s prostitution. You can try to explain love, yet you won’t go very far. We can’t explain the taste of chocolate to someone who hasn’t tried it. What more love? Love must be shown and love must be experienced, over and over, and over again. Finally, after everything I’ve written, I’ve described a person who is completely unlike me. That’s the honest truth. Your brothers don’t call you Shrek, your sort-of-exes don’t call you an atomic bomb, iceman, Henry Higgins, and Oscar the Grouch (among other things), and your friends don’t call you a manimal for being loving. Yet, again, I have salvation, because I am loved.