There is more love...

It's an interesting thing to give an appraisal of a person based on their Twitter tagline, or the section on Facebook titled "About Me." I always feel a bit stumped by those requirements of a social networking profile. What do you need to know about me that can be summarized into a single sentence? My profession? My hobbies? My sense of self-deprecating humor? My cynicism toward the world at large and profile summaries in particular? 

There's a similar section in the profile of a Pinterest user, and regular readers know well that I take my Pinterest account very seriously. So it was with much consideration that I decided to forgo the usual descriptors and opt, instead, for a quotation by George MacDonald. 

The line is from the book Sir Gibbie, a novel set high in the Highlands, about a little boy whom no one thinks much of until it turns out that he's very important after all. That's about the vaguest summary of a novel I've ever come up with, but I don't like giving things away. Everyone who bothers to know Gibbie Galbraith loves him, and Gibbie loves everyone in turn. So it shouldn't have been surprising, especially in a novel by George MacDonald, to come across a line like this:

There is more love in the world than anything else.

And yet it was surprising. For me, at least, because the moment I read it, I rejected it. There is more love than anything? I thought. I doubt that. More sin, more like. Or more desire, or more waste. There are plenty of things there might be more of than love. But I couldn't shake it, of course, this suggestion that perhaps I was a little more cynical about the world than it quite deserved.

I decided that I must be wrong. Between MacDonald and myself, I concede to his judgment. He has the Highlands to teach him, after all, and globalization and the advent of the internet doesn't change fundamental human experience so drastically that the measure of love or the lack of it should be tipped to one side of the scale or another. There is, then, more love in the world than anything else.

But I need to be reminded of it, and often. This is why I use MacDonald's line in my profile, not so that others might know me better, but so that I might know myself better. Be reminded, self, that there is, in fact, more love in the world than any other thing. Love is abundant.

When I read them, I am reminded not only of the moment I first encountered the words - because every time I read them I must be convinced again of their truth - but of all the proof I've seen. In particular, I am reminded of Prague, which I wrote about in this very blog some six years ago.

Thunder and rain in Slavic measure.
I kneel before the crucifix in St Nicholas' Cathedral amd shake my hair. Still it drips on the pages. What is there to do?
the tiles and the tourists
30kC to kneel in worship with the sound of the voice of the tourguide leading her wayward crowds with trivia and tidbits of history.
Before me, you are bleeding on the cross, a bit too quiet for my taste - I, no longer kneeling, but thinking of the rain, wonder when you will rend cloud from sky and come down. Meanwhile, I am chilly here on this wooden bench.

(I think I may have just driven out a tour group by praying in here. Flustered tour guide. Huh.)

Leaving the church, a guard in a clean black business suit was keeping people from coming in the exit door. He spoke to them sternly and closed the door firmly in their faces despite loud protest - only to turn and see me quietly waiting to get out. He had a beautiful face, like the guard in St Peter's who let Chaeli pray in the pews after the five o'clock mass. From stern refusal toward those without, he saw me and transformed. Gentling laying a hand on my shoulder, he opened the door again as though he had kept the others out just to make space for my exit. Perhaps he had seen me praying... I think I could live well from the love I glean from strangers alone.

This is what I am reminded of. And this is what it means for there to be more love than any other thing. Have it in abundance, and you will receive it in even fuller measure.

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