Wednesday, July 15, 2009

bonhoeffer and stuff

Someone just left a comment at my other blog that made me think of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and I looked at his wiki page and saw this quote
“Human love has little regard for the truth. It makes the truth relative, since nothing, not even the truth, must come between it and the beloved person.”- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I used to think this quote was kind of saying that God's love is different from "human love" and maybe that is what it's saying. But I saw it in a different way today, that maybe love is love. Because I've been thinking recently that what this quote is basically saying is so true with even biblical love. There are people who really want to explain and explain how their view is right and anyone who doesn't agree is wrong. The way they do it is not any kind of invitation to relationship and there is no sense of "I've said what I think, now what do you think? Your opinion is valid because it comes from your experience and you are a human being who deserves to be listened to. And besides that, maybe I'm wrong anyway and so I'm not threatened by listening to you." When there's no sense of that at all, I think love doesn't exist. Logic is comforting and love and vulnerability are scary, that is for sure. It sucks that we are so self-protective (myself included) that our relationships are sacrificed because we have no room for others. I talked about this in therapy today, more to come on that probably since it always bubbles up as much as I'd like it to not sometimes.


Still Breathing said...

The English language, which usually has too many words for one thing, falls down when it comes to the suject of love. New Testament Greek has (as far as I can remember) 3 words :

Eros = romantic / sexual love

Phileo = affectionate / fondness / brotherly love (hence Philadelphia - city of brotherly love)

Agape = unconditional / sacrificial love

God's love is agape love whereas we struggle to get beyond eros and phileo even in our closest relationships; not that they are bad in themselves. The closer we walk with God the more our love will become agape love - the love Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 13.

Still Breathing said...

Talking of Bonhoeffer we sing a translation of his poem for New Year's Eve 1944, written in prison with little chance of being released, to the tune Finlandia. This is simply the most moving hymn I know.

By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered,
and confidently waiting come what may,
we know that God is with us night and morning,
and never fails to greet us each new day.

Yet is this heart by its old foe tormented,
still evil days bring burdens hard to bear;
Oh, give our frightened souls the sure salvation
for which, O Lord, you taught us to prepare.

And when this cup you give is filled to brimming
with bitter suffering, hard to understand,
we take it thankfully and without trembling,
out of so good and so beloved a hand.

Yet when again in this same world you give us
the joy we had, the brightness of your Sun,
we shall remember all the days we lived through,
and our whole life shall then be yours alone.

Alecia said...

Great post Stephy! I agree with your take on it... Kind of like human love at its best transcends the truth, and in its striving grows closer to the purity of God's love... unconditional love.

stephy said...

Totally Alecia! You're a peach!

the nibbling marmot said...

Hi Stephy!

I've been thinking about the human love thing lately, too. After a month of attending daily Hindu philosophy lectures, it's been on my mind a lot- I think that our bodies and human lives are just containers for something that is massive and that runs through each of us, Hindu or not-- and that it's a little piece of God (or whatever word you want to use), and that it is the purest essence of Truth, if it can be put into a word. It's a really beautiful idea, I think. It makes the idea of religion pretty obsolete, even though it's a concept that exists throughout many religions.


stephy said...

Hi Beth! So you're back? You have to write all about it, I can't imagine a month in India. xoxox