Sunday 9 September 2012

fireplace: How do I know that I love God when I don’t feel anything?

It was a question that came up during our last Headstart meeting. Or well, something like it, anyway. It’s probably been paraphrased quite differently through the many days it’s been running through my head.

For some reason, I remembered the song “Do you love me?” from Fiddler on the Roof.

(Golde) Do I love him? For twenty-five years I've lived with him, fought him, starved with him. Twenty-five years my bed is his. If that's not love, what is?
(Tevye) Then you love me?
(Golde) I suppose I do
(Tevye) And I suppose I love you too

The thing is, we’re so full of Hollywood stories, where love is nothing more than chemistry, sex and emotions that we don’t know how whether we love when we don’t feel the emotions. It’s great to have emotions. But sometimes, you don’t. Sometimes you’re so numb that you don’t feel anything anymore. And you wonder; does that mean that you’ve given up loving? Does it mean that what you’ve experienced isn’t real? Does it mean that there is nothing there anymore? Does it mean you’ve lost your faith?

And I said something that I’ve been believing for a long time now, as trite as it may seem, that your actions prove your love. What keeps you serving in church when you don’t know why you stay? What keeps you hoping and wishing and worrying when the easiest thing is to just give up and go home? Or really, why do you worry that you don’t love God unless you really do?

It may not be the best answer.

I don’t know if we were made with the capacity to keep loving when all feeling is gone. I don’t know if it’s alright to not have any feelings anymore.

But on the other hand, that is what keeping faith is.

Holding on through the broken times.

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