We’ve all seen such odd couples. In the television series of the 70s it was a neat freak and a slob learning to live together despite their differences. We see other such combinations: the attractive drawn to the common, the intelligent to the average, the lazy to the energetic, and the frenetic to the steady.
As the saying goes, opposites attract. Many people delight in finding someone who can offset their emphasis or fill a certain void. Such opposites bring balance and equilibrium to life.
But even for people who like to hang among “their own,” we all need to have others in our lives as a way to keep us in check. To keep us mindful of a world that goes beyond our own thoughts.
In a letter dated May 25, 1951, C. S. Lewis responds to some questions Mary Van Deusen asked regarding loving one’s country. Instead of focusing on the idea of patriotism, Lewis turns his attention to the idea of love and how it might manifest itself in different contexts and toward diverse people. He writes,
“Or say there are two kinds of love: we love wise & kind & beautiful people because we need them, but we love (or try to love) stupid & disagreeable people because they need us. The second kind is the more divine, because that is how God loves us: not because we are lovable but because He is love, not because He needs to receive but because He delights to give.”1
It’s getting so there are only three words from the Bible that anyone knows anymore. They are the last three words of 1 John 4:8, “God is love.” Some people seem to think those three words are the entire Bible. They are not. I would suggest next time someone uses them they first explain who God is and what kind of love they mean.
“He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.” – Psalm 72:13.
- Walter Hooper, ed., The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963, Vol. III (New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2007), 119.