The world pretends that love is the mutual giving and taking but that’s not love. In love there is no taking, just giving and receiving. There’s a beautiful reflection by Bruce Botten called the two seas that beautifully illustrates this point. There are two seas in Palestine, one is fresh and fish are in it, splashes of green adorn its banks, trees spread their branches over it, and stretch out their thirsty roots to sip its healing waters. Along its shores children play as he played when he was there. He loved it. He could look across its silver surface when he spoke his parables and on rolling plain not far away he feed 5000 people.
The River Jordan makes this sea with sparkling waters from the hills so it laughs in the sunshine and men build there houses near to it. Birds build their nests here too and every kind of life is happier because it is there.
The River Jordan flows on south into another sea. Here there is no splash of fish, no flutter of leaves, no song of birds, no children’s laughter. Travelers choose a different route unless on urgent business. The air hangs heavy above its waters and neither man, nor foul, nor beast will drink its waters.
What makes the mighty difference between these neighboring seas? Not the River Jordan. It empties the same good water into both. Not the soil in which they lie and not the country about.
This is the difference. The Sea of Galilee receives but does not keep the Jordan. For every drop that flows into it, another drop flows out. The giving and receiving, they go on in equal measure. The other sea is shrewder, hoarding its income jealously. It will not be tempted into any generous impulse. Every drop it gets, it keeps. The Sea of Galilee gives and lives. The other sea gives nothing. It is named the Dead Sea.
There are two kinds of people in the world. There are two Seas in Palestine.
You and I we can only love because God has loved us first. And he has loved us incredibly. Allow the love that flows to you from God to flow out of you to others and you’ll live a life uncommon, an incredible life. Filled with dynamic relationships and a deep fulfillment that all men and women yearn for but so few ever find.
Father Arrupe, “Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in love in a quite absolute way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”
Happy Valentine’s Day