Hope and Longing
Chapter five focuses on the hope a Christian's tendencies therein if she possesses hope. Paprocki proposes nine tendencies that those who live with hope in the Resurrection have. The tendencies all indicate a kind of aspiration to be steadiness in the midst of disorder or mayhem, be they physical or emotional.
This above reminds me of Ps 130:5-6 – I wait for the LORD, my soul waits and I hope for his word. My soul looks for the Lord more than sentinels for daybreak. The Psalmist expresses so well our relationship to God: one of yearning and waiting. Truly, the person who loves God is a person who longs for Him. But this longing and yearning isn’t limited to our relationship with God; rather, it extends to our very own loving relationships as well with those whom we love: spouse, children, family, and friends.
The condition of the lover to the beloved is one of limited knowing. In other words, because the beloved is a person with so much more than what is physically available to our senses that her being is communicated more than by our own empirical assessment of who she is. The lover who mistakenly believes that he knows the entirety of his beloved’s being is one who seeks to possess rather than to love, for genuine love longs for instead of trying to possess the other. This is the reason that Scriptures are filled with instances of people longing for God. And once this longing is fulfilled, the peace is so overwhelming that death seems but a trivial occurrence – Lk 2:29-32
Likewise, when we, in our own human relationships, seek to genuinely love, we must therefore learn to long and yearn for those whom we love. We yearn for them to reveal to us who they are, and we then embrace those revelations. Without self-revelations we can never know anymore about our beloved than those things that are superficial and physical, marked by our own determinations of what they mean, and this is terribly dangerous because our determinations of others can be perilously biased.
Thus, false love takes on the form of possession and works with the motto “you are mine” because it primarily seeks to control and take charge. True love takes on the form of longing and yearning takes after the “I’m yours” motto since it expresses that it is open to receiving what the beloved is willing to reveal to it, and it thirsts for those revelations. Therefore, we wait and we long for our beloved’s revelations. And when those revelations come and we can love deeply and peacefully, the bumps and obstacles within those loving relationships are but trivial occurrences of a fallen world.
Have you ever been in relationships - filial, romantic, working, friendship - where you experienced false love? What was/is that like?
How have you experienced true love in your life? What was/is that like?