“Jesus said to him, ” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'” Matthew 22:37
There are three chords upon which love plays. Love may manifest itself, Jesus says, through the heart, through the soul or through the mind. In other words, my love may be either practical in nature, admiring in nature or connecting in nature. The love of the heart is practical in that it connects through common things. The love of the soul is admiring in that it sees glory at a distance and desires to be near it. The love of the mind is connecting in that it has found a common connection with its object – it can listen and respond. A mother’s love for her child is a love of the heart – it is helpful. A poet’s love for what he sees around him is a love of the soul – it wonders and admires. A friend’s love for another is a love of the mind – it realizes that they have something in common.
I believe, as this verse indicates, that our love for God moves progressively across each of these chords. We begin with the heart when we say, “Our Father. . .” and we set out to serve Him. Before long we get a glimpse of His glory through our soul. We are overcome with the majesty and the mysteries of the universe that He has created and how He works in and through them. Then, one day, we really begin to connect with our Creator. We speak to him face to face, just like Moses did, as a man speaks to his friend. (Ex. 33:11) This is the human nature of our love.
As a Christian, it is that third chord that I long to live in. As a young believer I looked at the Lord through the eyes of a child. It was sweet and sentimental, dependent on His provision, but there was still a distance in my dealings with my God. I have seen Him with the eyes of the soul – the grandeur and the glory of who He is, but again there was a shadow, a subtle divide that blocked my constant communion with Him. I desire more. I want to walk with Him. I want to talk to Him. I want to hear what He has to say and spend time in the secret place with my God. I don’t desire sentimental or even supernatural love. I desire the love of the mind – the fellowship of a friend.
One of the greatest compliments ever given to a mortal man was given to one named Abraham, for “he was called the friend of God.” (James 2:23) That is my mind’s desire. To no longer subsist as a servant, but to be called His friend.
I have been content to be simply subject to His protection in my life, and afterlife’s, journey. But if I am to always be a child, then I can’t be His companion. Should He go through Gethsemane’s hour and have only my sympathy? A child can see his father crying and cry beside him without fully understanding His grief. Why? Because it is a love of the heart, not a love of the mind. That is not how I wish to enter the garden. I want to understand, comprehend, the depths of His great love and sacrifice. I would abandon my blessings for the ability to share His burden. I wish to walk side by side instead of simply following. To assimilate His words and appropriate His will.
This is my mind’s desire.
“Lord, I wish to love You with my mind, because if I love you with my mind, I will also love you with my heart and with my soul and have that sweet fellowship and friendship with You that Abraham had.”