One hot summer day I was working out in the yard with a good friend, Hannah, and it occurred to me that I might need a concrete mixing tray from the shed some distance away. Hannah, mindful of the painful hip I had at the time, volunteered to go get the tray. I accepted her offer gratefully, and off she went.
After waiting a few minutes for Hannah, I was certain that her delay meant either that the tray had been misplaced in another building, or it was hidden under piles of stuff I had failed to put in their proper places. I walked to the shed and went straight to the tray Hannah had been searching for.
Why was I able to find the tray when Hannah could not? First, the shed was a mess, a victim of my failure to better organize things. Second, I knew exactly the color, shape, and design of the tray, so almost immediately upon entering the shed I was able to identify just a corner of the tray, even though the rest of it was obscured by loose tools, wooden stakes, and pieces of steel rebar.
In short, I found the tray because I knew exactly what the tray would look like from any angle—and even if it were mostly covered by distractions—whereas Hannah had only a general idea of its appearance.
On many occasions I have been asked why people don’t immediately recognize Real Love and embrace it with all their hearts. I suggest that their experience is similar to that of Hannah looking for the concrete mixing tray. Most people have never in their entire lives experienced unconditional love in a solid, recognizable way, much as Hannah had never seen the tray I described. And when people have seen glimpses of Real Love, it has been so jumbled with the distractions of the world that they just couldn’t see it, much as Hannah couldn’t see the corner of the tray, which was nearly covered with the chaotic mess around it.
Those of us who have seen and experienced Real Love can be an example of that love to the people who have never seen it clearly. We can be a light in the darkness, leading them to even more sources of this love—both human and divine.
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