12 LOVE IN AC TION
As a teenager my desire to make romantic relationships my
ultimate reality would cause me to date nearly every girl
in my youth group, but my soul-mate never came. My early
twenties were no better, every new class I took in university
meant another possibility of finding “the one” yet to no avail.
This constant search often led to hurt, despair, and loneliness but it never broke my resolve. I remained determined to
find the girl I was made to be with, wherever she might be.
I talked to God, worshiped him, and read Scripture more
than most Christian guys my age, yet they always seemed
to find their dream girl. Why not me as well? Why had
God not given me “the desire of my heart” so many of
my friends seem to have? (Psalm 37: 4).It was around
this same time the superficial nature of my Christian
walk began to hit me. I longed for a lover, while poverty
and oppression of all kinds surrounded me. I longed for
someone to hold while millions of women every year
were forced to sleep with someone they would rather not.
With Christian persecution occurring all around the
world, simply having a safe and affordable home started
to seem more like a blessing than something to be taken
for granted. The Christians in the Bible seemed to have
a pretty rough go of it as well. John the Beloved Disciple,
Peter, Paul, and many in the early Christian community
were persecuted and martyred for their faith.
The more I read Scripture the more Jesus seemed less interested in finding me a girlfriend and more interested in
teaching me what it might mean to truly suffer, and cry to
God for justice and peace. The more I learned about the
significance of Christ’s incarnation, his emptying of
Jesus tells us that in the final age of resurrected eternity we
“will neither marry nor be given in marriage” for “we will be
like the angels in heaven” (Mark 12: 25; Luke 2: 34-36). Jesus
taking marriage off the table has always made me uncomfortable. On the one hand I know that ultimately Jesus is
my source of strength and salvation, on the other hand for
a large portion of my life I had bought into the false idea
that my true happiness would come from finding my future.
divine power (Philippians 2), his role as the suffering
servant (Isaiah 53); the more lonely and desperate I began to feel. Does my pain even matter? Or does Christ
really only care for and identify with those on the brink
of starvation and death?