Profit And Loss
There is the old Greek story of Charon who was the boatman who took the dead across the River Styx. He reminded a poor woman that she had the right to drink of the Waters of Lethe that would make her forget everything about the life she was leaving. She was eager to drink, saying, “I will forget how I have suffered.” Charon told her, “Remember too that you will forget how you rejoiced.” She said, “I will forget my failures,” and he said, “And your victories as well.” She went on, “I’ll forget how I was hated.” And he reminded her, “You’ll forget how you were loved.” She thought it over and decided she wouldn’t drink.
To love is to risk. But the experience of loving is more than worth the risks incurred. Love suffers losses…painful losses. But in loving we are imitating our Maker Who so loved us that He gave His best treasure…His precious Son…for all humans. And He knew that His immeasurable gift of love would not only be rejected by most but would be nailed to a tree in bitter, inexplicable hatred. But His holy love compelled Him to love to the uttermost (John 13:1).
In holy loving we are not only imitating God we are being changed into His likeness. Love that is worthy of the name does something wonderful to us…it looks for something from us…and it fills us with the sense that in loving we are truly living as God intended. Because of love we put ourselves “out there” with no guarantees, except that we will know both profit and loss. The blessing of requited love instills within us sky-splitting joy. The pain of unrequited love or of helplessly watching our beloved suffer can put us through a kind hell on earth. But love can do no other than open us to both the joy and the sorrow. It is only in granting holy love free access to our hearts and free outlet through our lives that that we learn its most valuable lessons and experience its most wondrous power. This is how and why, ultimately, love never fails!