‘Love in the Annoying’
…for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
– 1 John 4:20
It actually seems easier to love God than to love some of the people in my life. God doesn’t have that annoying voice or leave dishes in the sink. But maybe that’s the wrong way to think about it.
To love someone, I don’t think you have to give up being annoyed by them; you do have to forgive them over and over (and over again). You do have to recognize that you have your own habits that serve as annoyances for others.
Love is for the long-term. Though we speak of “love at first sight,” how often does that infatuation fail to endure? Real love slogs through the days and years of getting wounded and forgiving, of wounding and apologizing. Each round stretches our hearts and souls to reach out more and more past family to neighbors. Then, neighbors to strangers, strangers to the entire world, and the entire world, finally, to God, who is in all whom we have struggled to love.