Why God Invented Love


God invented love so people would do the things they don't want to do, like reading James Joyce, or cleaning out the cat box when it's not their turn, or being crucified for the sake of humankind (it was just that one time, but that was why it really counted. God knows better than anyone how to make a story powerful, and the trick is to kill your darlings, but you have to do it at the critical point of the story, and you have to be all in, or people will know you're not fully committed to the plot, and they won't tell their friends to read the book, and worse still, they won't read anything else you've written because they no longer trust you as a good storyteller. And don't even get God started on how translating stories into other languages can completely twist the meaning of the point you were trying to make, because that happens to Him a lot, and it's very annoying).


Most of the time, people don't need to go so far as being crucified (although anyone who's been forced to visit Ikea on a Sunday afternoon when they have a killer hangover may feel that is comparable), because God likes the little things, the tiny, bumbling, exquisitely beautiful ways people show love to each other all the time, and that's really what the crucifixion was all about, it was just REALLY BIG LOVE, and maybe the answer's in the name, cruci-FICTION, it's a love story, and stories matter, and love matters, and the point of that particular story is that it's what we all do all the time when we love someone, only usually on a smaller scale, but it still matters, and it's still love and every tiny act of love still changes the world, and anyway, size isn't everything, especially where love's concerned. 


To be honest, God isn't quite sure whether He might have made love bigger than Himself, and is torn between wondering if that's possible – even for Him – and marveling at the impossible possibility of His creative powers. He has noticed people often say, "God is love", but they don't say, "Love is God", and it makes Him wonder. Not that it matters - after all God is humble and curious and delights in surprises (most of the time, with the possible exception of Steve Jobs) - and if people are motivated by love, and think He is love, or love is love is love, it all leads to the same thing, and that means it's working out, more or less, and that's as much as anyone, even God, can hope for. 


If God is like anyone in His love for humanity, He is like Dr. Who, wise and crazy and unpredictable, but holding all the pain and loss of humanity in His soul, and still loving, endlessly curious, wildly creative, flying-by-the-seat-of His-divine-pants, and fascinated by the ways in which life still and always surprises Him. He loves projects and experiments, and discovery, and stories, and ideas, and He doesn't always know how they'll turn out or what side effects will occur (like Steve Jobs, the biggest side effect of them all), and that's part of the glory of it, or the glory of God, if you like. 

God is not just a story-lover, and a story-teller, and a match for Dr. Who, He's everything, and He is love and love is Him, and God also knows that fear, not hate, is the opposite of love, and fear kills creativity and creation and curiosity, and all the other wonderful bringing-into-existence of things that God and the tiny, bumbling, exquisite human beings adore and cannot stop doing, ever. But if one thing annoys God even more than bad translations of His stories, and people being afraid to love, it's people who take love's name in vain, which is much worse than taking His name in vain, because not everyone believes in God, but everyone believes in love, even secretly, and everyone gets to be loved by someone, even Hitler, even if it was just his mother who loved him, or Eva Braun. And by-the-by, even now (although time, of course, isn't linear, especially for God and Dr. Who), God can barely fathom Hitler, but again, that's free will for you, and humans can be absolutely beastly when they let fear trump love. 


The point is, God made love in a form so fluid and amorphous that it could be accessible to everyone, identifiable even when it can't be defined, recognizable even when it's invisible. God can spot a faker a mile off, and although He always gives the faker the benefit of the doubt, because their twisted tainting of love is from their own pain, their own sadness, or lack of love, He does, on occasion, get frustrated with their refusal, resistance, to treat love with respect. This is another result of free will, and frankly, it can be irritating, and mutates into all kinds of not-loving forms when fear gets in the way, and maybe if Hitler had received, and shown, more love and fewer salutes, things would have turned out differently. But to balance the effect of the fakers and the tainters, God, in His infinite curiosity and creativity, makes sure that all the small acts of love matter, they really do, from reading James Joyce to visiting Ikea with a hangover, and that's why God invented love, because it can be everywhere, it leaks in, and sometimes, whether it's a clean cat box or a crucifixion when you least expect it, it elevates life to a truly wondrous story made from all the tiny, bumbling, exquisitely beautiful ways people show love to each other all the time, without even knowing it.


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