We do not love God because He is perfect. We do not love Him because He protects us from all the harm and keeps evil things from happening to us. We do not love Him because we are afraid of Him, or because He will hurt us if we turn our back on Him. We love Him because He is God, because He is the author of all the beauty and the order around us, the source of our strength and the hope and courage within us, and of other people's strength and hope and courage with which we are helped in our time of need. We love Him because He is the best part of ourselves and of the world. That is what it means to love. Love is not the admiration of perfection, but the acceptance of an imperfect person with all his imperfections, because loving and accepting him makes us better and stronger.
Monday, August 17, 2009
I recently read Rabbi Harold Kushner's When Bad Things Happen to Good People and found it a heart-warming, while provocative, book on how to deal with the misery and sadness in the world and in our lives. I liked to share a short excerpt on loving God from the concluding chapter What Good, Then, is Religion?.