True Love is an Invasion

True Love is an Invasion

Graham Cooke once said, “God is the kindest person I know.” And to say He’s kind is very important in a backbiting, sarcastic, jaded world that spotlights your tiniest flaw in a Simon Cowell way. However, kindness is not the whole story on love.

C. S. Lewis pointed to a greater love than mere kindness. For kindness alone might say, “What does it matter–what they do–as long as they are enjoying themselves.” Do we want God to be a kind old grandfather? Let’s be honest. Sure we do. We want the good life–beauty, romance, prosperity and adventure. We don’t want cholesterol, messy diapers, doctor bills, or boredom…not to mention sorrow, loss, tragedy and death.

But, as Lewis said, “kindness” like that doesn’t really consider what is good or bad for us–only that we don’t suffer. It masquerades as love, worrying about our comfort and happiness more than the development of character or the sacredness of life. Like a hovering parent, simple kindness might do too much for us, robbing us of things we can only find on a difficult path. It might bandage the small cut, ignoring the parasite festering under the skin. It might over feed us, fill every vacuum, and hand us an “easy button.”

Don’t get me wrong. Kindness is still good, but alone it is not true love. As Lewis maintains–if God is love, then by definition He has to be more than just kind.

True love would rather see us suffer, than be happy in destructive ways. True love may feel intrusive, watching what we do when no one else is looking. It may enter our world and ask us to hand over absolutely everything–meticulously taking us apart to the core of our being. This kind of love will require us to forgive people who never say sorry, never change, and will likely hurt us again. It may ask us to be sacrificial like the young private, who threw his body on a grenade to save his fellow soldiers. Stuff we never signed up for and couldn’t see coming.

Though we tend to avoid true love, it’s precisely the kind of thing we need in our lives. If you know C. S. Lewis’ story, you might remember that he married Joy Gresham late in life. Though delighted to find a wife, he was unprepared for the intense invasion of privacy that comes with marriage…and I’m not talking about sharing a bed or a bathroom.

Joy observed that Lewis had experienced very little true love in his life. He’d arranged all interactions with others so he was always  superior. Thus, no one could tell him anything. Lewis explained to Joy that as a boy, the premature death of his mother was so painful to him, he withdrew from others. But the resulting lack of true connection with others, over four decades, was perhaps a greater loss.

Joy challenged him to enter a real relationship in marriage, and initially, he was genuinely confused. Living detached from others had become so familiar. Yet in time, he let Joy into his heart and others as well.

Only a few years later, Joy lay on her deathbed. Prematurely losing his new wife was a crushing blow. Yet God had true love purposes in their short time together. Joy had awakened something vital in her husband’s life. Lewis told Joy that she was the “truest person he had ever known.” He promised to stop pretending and to allow others to see him as he really was.

God’s true love is an invasion of privacy, but it’s profoundly purer than marital love. God knows what He’s after and is relentless in the pursuit of our hearts. The good news is that the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful Being in charge of the universe is by nature True Love. Would we really want anything less?



  1. Exactly what I needed this morning. So good.

    • It took me a long time to reconcile God’s kindness and His wildness. The Sacred Romance by Eldredge and Curtiss did a lot for me on that front. So many of God’s own people are kind of mad at Him for being wild, and it keeps them at arm’s lengtH–which is exactly how the enemy wins. Something happened to me when I could finally say, “I don’t get it, but I’ll trust You no matter what it looks like.” Then I could finally live within the comfort of the larger story that God is telling, when our small stories are tragic and don’t make sense. Thanks for dialing in, Jim!

  2. SUSAN! this is amazing truth to be reminded of and shared and what caught me right off was your reference to simon c. in regard to how god does not pick out our tiniest flaws and harp on them!! i loved that. then the rest is just beautiful as to our father’s character and ‘appointment’ of us to be his darling children whom, by love and duty, he must be kind by sort of loving us to death! or to pieces…like sometimes needing to break us into pieces. well you know what i am saying and this is one of my favorite things you’ve ever written so there! i love you
    suzee B

    • Thank you Suzee! I want people to understand exactly what you are saying here. Thanks for commenting!