“It is Love that holds everything together, and it is Love that is the everything also.” ~ Rumi

I remember the first time I heard somebody say, “God is love.”

I thought to myself, “Well, that’s sweet. I don’t get it, and I’ve got a ton of evidence to the contrary, but still, it’s sweet. Now go be sweet somewhere else.”

The problem was, I didn’t understand love. We do that, a lot. We think we understand something, and we work from that understanding, whether we really understand or not.

To even begin to understand love, i had to get beyond my limited definition that love meant romance, and consider that it is much, much bigger than that. In order for me to even begin to understand what people meant when they said God is love, I had to expand my definition of love in a big way. I had to get past my own fear of love in order to step more fully into it.

That’s the thing about love; it’s one thing to study it from the outside in. It’s quite another thing to come to know it from the inside out. We can only truly know love if we’re willing to step into it.

I was reading this morning Eknath Easwaran’s Your Life Is Your Message. In it, he writes, “It takes a long, long time, but any of us can develop this all embracing, all consuming love. One great mystic describes it as a love that will not let you go. Even if you do not want to love, you can’t help it. You couldn’t hate anyone even if you wanted to. You could try to say, ‘Love, leave me alone!’ but it would simply reply, ‘No – you’re mine.’”

Why is it that love will not leave us alone? What is this seemingly inescapable, pervasive ingredient of life, this yearning that, much as we might deny it as our nature, struggle against it, or suffer with wanting more of it, continues to draw us deeper and deeper into its mystery?

Maybe God really is love. And since we say that God is all that there is, then if God is love, then Love is all that there is. Maybe love is the nature of things, the whole reason and essence of life. The great teachers seem to think so.

Rev. Chris Michaels goes so far as to say, “Your soul was created by God to express love.”

Dr. Ernest Holmes says, “Anyone who thinks they can live and be happy without love does not really know what they is talking about – psychologically, emotionally, physiologically, or spiritually. Love is the beginning and end, the one sentiment in nature that will not be denied.”

What’s love got to do with it? Maybe everything. Maybe it really is all about love. Maybe I AM love and you are love and all of creation is love and the only reason for living is to be a place for that love to be in the world. And perhaps if we can expand our definition of love enough, if we can learn to express and experience and know that kind of love that the mystics have spoken of since the beginning of time, maybe then we can really come to know what it means, what it really means, when we say God is love.