"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." –The Gospel of Luke
"Truth is the highest expression of love. A lot of times I won't say something to folks because I don't want to hurt them and I want to be liked. Whenever I do that, I try to convince myself that I'm practicing love. But I delude myself. Love looks you straight in the eye and speaks truth. When we fail to do that, it's generally because we value personal comfort more that another's growth." –Philip Gulley, Hometown Reflections
"We are most alive when we're in love." –John Updike
Being in love isn't the same anymore. We've remade love, having made love into something it isn't. Making love, isn't. Being in love, isn't. We've lost ourselves accordingly. And if God is love, is it any wonder we've lost him too?
I think our dearly departed John had it right: we are most alive when we're in love. But being in love isn't feeling romantic about someone. It's being in Christ. And Christ in us. We love because he first loved us. How simple it once was. We only came to life because of love. And at some time in most our lives, that simple truth is enough.
And as Luke says, when we love others, we love God. But as Philip says, it isn't easy. We sabotage it. To be "in love" and fully alive, we have to learn how to love others like it's our job. For writers, that's writing and sharing the deepest parts and never backing down when it gets uncomfortable.
Make that your goal next time you sit down to write. Work at truly loving others through your words, through your characters. Because through them, you're loving the One who made them.