Everyone wants to be loved - especially when we feel most unlovely.
As a counsellor, I regularly sit with people and hear the longing of their heart to be loved. Most of us wonder whether anyone could love us if we let them see the real us.
Sometimes our dark side rears its ugly head in our relationships. The nasty side of us jumps out at others and hurts them. Or maybe others have hurt us; we don't feel loved, so we strike out at them. Our hurt, anger and aggressiveness says, ‘I want to be loved – I am not being loved.’
Isn't it strange how people become so 'unlovely' when they're in the grip of the desire to be loved and cared for? It is strange how badly we want people to be close to us, yet our actions tell everyone to get away from us. We can be so difficult to love sometimes. We become so prickly. Have you ever seen someone diffuse a difficult situation by loving the prickly person and wondered how they did it? We know it will break the ice; it is the medicine that will cure the terminal illness; it is the ice that will cool the burn... and yet we find it so hard. Why?
I think it is because loving someone who is really unlovely, someone who is not contributing anything to our wellbeing, someone who is nothing but a hindrance and a source of pain to us, is nothing short of divine.
Have you ever been in the presence of someone who loves and all that they get in return is pain? That love is divine. When someone loves for no gain of their own, but only for the gain of the other, they are loving like Jesus did.
It was His love for us when we were unlovely, that now makes it possible for us to love others when they are unlovely.
"This is love: not that we loved God (we were unlovely), but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice for our sins (our disobedience – our unloveliness)."