Our God of Love
by Anna E. Herzog
Isaiah expressed a glorious sense of the qualities of God as Love when he wrote, “As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also He will deliver it; and passing over He will preserve it.” It is the defending, delivering, preserving God of love which Christian Science is revealing to the world. Throughout the Scriptures the love of God is referred to, and Jesus’ whole ministry was an exemplification of the fact that God is Love; but remained for John, in his first epistle, to make the simple statement, “God is love.”
The real man is the very image of God. Mrs. Eddy in her writings has used several words explaining man’s relation to God, among them manifestation, idea, expression, and reflection. Thus, man is the manifestation, idea, or expression of Love. How much of the time are we thinking ourselves as that? How much of the time will others, observing us, be reminded of the love of God?
The world greatly needs love, kindliness, neighborliness; not merely the disciplined manifestation of human goodness, not merely the expression of personal adulation, but the pure, uplifting, friendly reflection of the Love which is God. There is nothing more impossible to counterfeit than love. Though phases of human hypocrisy just mentioned may for a short time seem to delude the undiscerning, the love which reflects divine Love is so beautiful, genuine, and holy a quality, that mankind cannot long fail to discern it.
Science and Health tells us that “love for God and man is the true incentive in both healing and teaching.” Coldness, selfishness, impatience, cannot bring healing. No other motive power than love can successfully inspire teacher, healer, or student of Christian Science.
Real love is never joyless. Self-righteousness and love never dwell together. True love brings about a constantly widening horizon of thought. No boundaries or limits exist to Love, for it is inclusive and impartial, universal and eternal. It is not love which limits, burdens, or monopolizes another. It is not love which is unjustly critical and condemning. It is not love which withholds well-earned praise, or fails to rejoice in another’s success. The more we practice real loving, the better we ourselves shall learn to love.
Real love is continuous, changeless, invariable. Love is unconcerned about its reception; it loves on, because its nature is to do so.
Love is always intelligent. As we grow to be more loving, we shall also be more wise, more discerning. The Christian Scientist reflecting the alertness, the saneness, of real love should be the hardest person on earth to fool or impose upon. Christ Jesus was so wide-awake, so truly filled with the active, watchful intelligence of infinite divine Love, that it was impossible to catch, trap, or delude him. He discerned the nature of Herod, “that fox”; and he instantly recognized the hypocrisy of the Pharisees.
As we learn to reflect more love, we shall see more clearly to separate evil from man. We can always love man, because man is never evil. But, we are not called upon to love the evil which poses as man. Love is not feeble. It is potent enough to dissolve “the adamant of error.” (Science and Health) No power can withstand its changeless, indestructible might.
How are we to prove that we understand God is Love? By expressing loving-kindness, forgiveness, helpfulness, healing. By proving that neither time nor person, circumstance nor condition, can prevent us from realizing and expressing the Love which is God.