Thursday, April 1, 2010

In the Debt of Love

To continue the analogy of this Blog being written in the format of a book, this section would likely be the introduction. In this part, I mainly want introduce why I named the blog "In the Debt of Love" and then give the details of my departure. As for the names origin, as you know (if you did not skip the preface) I am financially free to go to India because an anonymous donor paid all my student debt, $105,000. In this freedom, although I cast off the burden of financial debt, in recent months I have began to desire taking on a new debt; that is the debt to love. However, this new debt is chosen, not something I submit to but actually it is where I can find the greatest riches.

You see, much of the past 2 months I have been consumed by the book Works of Love by Soren Kerkegaard. Besides the B!ble, honestly this is the only book that I can say has changed my life. It has broken my heart and humiliated me on so many levels as I have discovered the truth about what it means to love, which in contrast means learning, to my dismay, that much of what I thought was love was actually selfishness.

One of the major themes is that Chr!$tiaN love, the only true love, means to love solely because we are commanded to "Love our neighbor as our self". Therefore it is rooted in the duty to love our neighbor and because it is a duty is not affected by how our object of love (the other person) behaves, changes, or treats us in return. And furthermore, because it is a duty to love our "neighbor" that includes all people and excludes no one, and we are not to prefer loving one person over the other, for that is preferential and exclusive to our neighbors, meaning it is not love. I was astounded to learn that Chr!$tian love is quite contrary to a friendship, family, love interests, or even marriage. It does not prefer the rich nor does it prefer the poor, neither the important nor the unimportant, the extraordinary nor the simple. Those loves are preferential (meaning you chose some people over others) and conditional (meaning dependant on how they treat you in return or fulfill the potential you desire for them) and temporal (meaning it will always blossom and always die).

But Chr!$tian love, actual love, is eternal because it is rooted in obeying the command "to love your neighbor", and the command never stops saying, "Love your neighbor". Loving out of duty causes a shift in our love-need, from our love-need is to be loved by others in return, to our love-need is to love others. In fact, the greater the need is to love our neighbor, the greater are our riches in love. And this is the debt of love.

It is the acknowledgement that you could never love someone enough. And in doing so, you also could never stop and compare how they love you with how you love them, for to do so would be to think you are somehow repaying the eternal debt to love, which means you have not loved eternally, or Chr!st!anly, or your neighbor.

To say the least, this is a great challenge; To love my neighbor in the debt of love. As I enter into my time in India, this will mean loving the oppressed and the oppressor. It will mean loving those who are easy to love and those you are not. It will mean guarding myself from loving some people more than others, for to do so would mean I am not seeing them as my neighbor. And it will mean loving despite how I am treated in return because I am loving my neighbor to love G*d, not so they love me back. This keeps G*d as the bond between us. This makes it Chr!st!an love.

So this is my task: Last night I accepted a part time position with an org as their Customer Care Representative. As mentioned previously, I begin my work May 4th. Since it is part time, I will have spare time to learn Bengali, and the culture, and about my host family. As my language ability increases, I will be able to get more involved with the women in the red-light district. By far the greatest challenge in all of this will be to love my neighbor in the debt of love. I named my blog this as a reminder to be earnest of only one thing; loving my neighbor. For it is the eternal duty, rooted in the debt of love.