the greatest unrequited love

There is a Man I know whose love remains a baffling mystery to me.

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In the past months, I have been kept awake until the earliest hours of day by a single question – why do I wander away from this? This love that has pursued me since time immemorial, this love that has chosen to rescue me even when I was undeserving, this love that has constantly stayed even after I strayed. One could only dream of such love; how dare do I reject this?

The answer came to me one cold evening of March. It was nothing intricate, nothing difficult to understand. It was as simple as anything could be. So the months of staying up late have been reduced to a single, 6-word answer: I did not love Him enough.

Tears started to form. Of course, I love Him!,  a part of me attempted to justify itself.

I spend my quiet moments with Him, I talk to Him on a regular basis, I read His Word, I participate in the ministry. Of course, I love Him.

Of course. Of course, you do, I told myself. Just not enough for you stay. Confronted by this truth, my heart broke. How many times have I told Him, I love You, when what I truly meant was I love the pieces of You. I love that He is forgiving, that He is merciful and gracious, that He loves me. But when it came to the part that asks for the evidence of my affection for Him, that which requires obedience, I take a step back. And then another, until I look back and realize a great distance has already separated us. It’s like being in a relationship only for the pleasure, without any commitment.

Sure, He was my greatest love. He used to be, once upon a time, during the earliest days of our relationship. But as time passed, trivial things have started to settle in my heart until He lost His place. But this is another story.

I was reminded of what He said in John 14:24,

He who does not love Me does not keep My words.

That night, I went through my previous journals and found this entry dated November 18, 2015:

When we wrangle over doing what God says, that isn’t an obedience problem but a love problem.

A train of thought. So what happened? I asked myself. Why have I grown cold? Why have I loved this Man less than I did before? What factors could have played part that lead me to this love problem with the Man I gave my “yes” to? 

And, as if He was just right there with me, I was pointed back to my recent journal. The last entry had been written months ago. The last ones were short-length ones, with one-liner notes under verses.

Of course, it did not happen in an instant. It was a gradual process of falling away, He told me.

Those times when I would hurry through the day, opening my Bible just to console myself that I did my duty. Those times when I would choose to write about trivial musings rather than fill my thoughts with the knowledge of Him. Those times when I would choose to just slumber because I needed rest (only to wake up still exhausted the day after). All these played part in increasing the distance between us.

The truth is I don’t love Him enough because I have lost track of who He is. The mind forgets and is in constant need for reminder. And I deliberately chose to forget.

So why does this Man still perseveres in pursuing me despite all these? I do not know. Why does His love still stay even after I have strayed countless of times? I do not know. The human mind could only comprehend so much.

I have slowly found my way back to Him, spending more and more time re-discovering who He is, and knowing new truths about Him. I am slowly re-learning to truly mean the words when I tell Him I love You. 

There is a Man I know whose love remains a baffling mystery to me. I could spend my lifetime trying to love Him with all my heart and yet I could never, even once, tell Him I love You more, not even, I love You too. But it doesn’t matter, does it? All He asks for is my obedience.

Such love that asks nothing but for you to remain. Remind me again why have I wandered away from this?