It takes courage to love – because love stinks.
Okay, so I write Christian mystery-romance-suspense books. I should march through life expounding a giddy procession of clichés about love’s virtues. But honestly – love stinks.
Love stinks because only those we love possess the power to hurt us. We can be callous and indifferent when taunted by enemies, but when someone we love criticizes us, we shatter.
Love stinks because it ends. I met a fellow dog walker today. We fell into each others arms and cried – me because my son had graduated from earth to heaven, she because her loyal doggie companion had done the same. No matter what the object of one’s love, the pain of loss is devastating.
Husband, wife, friend, lover, companion, child, pet, wildlife, flower, tree – every object that we find the courage to love will be lost to us someday. I can write romance novels. I can write happy endings. But I can’t take the hurt out of love. I can’t make it smell good.
Yet, without love, life would be a desert wasteland. Love splashes life and color into every drab corner of human existence. Love fires the souls of writers, poets, dreamers, achievers. Love is the only heart condition that makes living worth the pain and effort. The Bible promises that love never fails.
Love stunk for Jesus, too. Because He loved us, Jesus allowed Himself to be mocked, whipped, have His beard plucked out and thorns pounded into His head. Love nailed Jesus to the cross. Love kept Him there. He could have called angels to rescue Him, but Jesus chose to stay on the cross and die for our sins. Love stinks.
Jesus spent three days in hell – because I’m bad, not because He was bad. Then Jesus snatched the keys of death away from satan, and rose victorious. Jesus broke the power of sin and death and handed us the victory.
Without the stinking love of Jesus, Heaven would be out of reach for us.
Love won’t stink in Heaven. Love will be a fragrant perfume that never dissipates and that lasts for all eternity.
So perhaps love doesn’t stink. Perhaps I can keep writing romance novels, some with happy endings. When sorrow finds a resting place inside my heart, a rose will bloom in its shadow.