Most of us think we know God, the god of right or wrong, black and white, innocent or guilty, the god of love – which kind of love? Agape or Eros there can be no other, we say.
Yet in God there is no either/or, there is the both/and. There is a tension in the black and white of these opposites, for one is not defined without the other.Never know love but for the lack of it.
There is Eros and Agape and they live together proportional to the tension, each defining the other, both apparent. The give and take shadowing each other in degrees of grey. Eros approaching Agape as it is filled with pure white and the pure grey of 1 part black and 1 part white becomes both Agape and eros.
Ancient Greek has six distinct words for love: agápe, éros, philía, pragma and philautia, English, in its poverty has one alone which is then defined by an adverb or adjective, as in “brotherly love”, friendship or affection – philía
It is Agape and Eros which capture us here, and something to ponder that the Agape of God requires a little more of the Eros of the Son to draw them together, to rightly say that if you have seen me you’ve seen the Father. We neither know God nor see God unless we have Love.
God’s Love and Ours
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
9 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. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
Unless we love each other with the love with which God loves us we neither see him nor know him. Love, the Agape, when flowing through us grants us knowledge of God . If we do not love then we cannot know God because God is love.
It is simple yet our fear gets in the way, we wander and wonder whether our love is sufficient for us to know God, we fear that our apparent lack of the feeling of love deprives us of the knowledge of God.
Begin then with the love with which a man loves a woman, your lover, love God as your lover, your boyfriend. Know God intimately in the caressess of others, let your love grow purer and purer until it is transformed into the agape.
Allow the tension between the two, eros is not wrong, black, but the balance on the other end of the seesaw of life with God.
God is all love in all and we can take our baby steps at our own paces to grow the perfect love, which passess understanding and we shall know God, all in good time.
Do not be afraid, do not judge yourselves harshly, denigrating your ability to love because you think it weak and faulty. Weak and faulty love also knows God and will grow until it is stronger and more balanced. Until you know yourself better, love yourself more, love neighbour as yourself, then with the love with which God first loves you in the knowledge of God.