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Did Jesus ever
love - in the sense of
exchanging a look
of recognition with the eyes
of another, singled out from all the
possible others? Did He ever know
that longing, that
aching of the heart, not
for all people, but
for the one, perhaps
'the disciple whom Jesus loved'?
No. This isn't asking
'was Jesus gay?' Was it a matter
of sexual arousal? No, more simply
was He who was always God, who was always
with the Father, ever
lonely, ever
longing for a friend -
to put His arms about another,
not for the comfort of the other but
for Himself, for His own
desperate need? Difficult to imagine and yet
what was the value of His
assuming humanity without
that? But let us imagine now,
even more difficult, the human heart
bearing the weight of the love of God,
and what could such a love be but
an enormous (and this, Mike,
is a correct use of the word
'enormous' - beyond
anything that is ordinary) pity?
Prince Myshkin's heart
was torn between two women.
what must it be to have a heart
torn by everyone?

I think of Nick Cave
who tells us, maybe not quite
in so many words, that the love
of a love affair is an effort
to fill a void that
only God can fill, and so
- since the beloved isn't God -
love songs
are always sad, the void
is never filled, the beloved
always inadequate - but then again
so is 'God' -
never entirely known, and consequently
never able to fill the void of His own
absence - hence
the sometimes unbearable
agony of the Psalms - but then
maybe the void isn't God,
maybe the void
is love for the world entire, the love
only the heart of Jesus could sustain - the heart
God made
in the beginning
when He made us
before we learned
to discriminate - before we acquired
'the knowledge of good and evil' - the preference
for this one
over that one, and so
the void
isn't the absence of God
but the immense
difference between
what we are in Eternity
and what we are in time.