There are those of us who believe that God created us in His image. There are some of us who contend that it was in Her image. Still others purport that there is no god and the variations on these beliefs we expound exponentially. It is almost impossible to sort out all the points on which we agree and disagree when those who claim to support the same beliefs can rarely agree what it is they agree upon.
I don’t care who you are or what you believe. “I love you,” is the most beautiful thing you ever heard, and if you say you disagree with me, you are just wrong. Every one of us, from the first moment of safety when we feel our mother’s love and know that it won’t ever let us starve, builds our life upon the foundation of this simple four letter miracle. Even when we are born into tragic situations that deprive us of it, our bodies and souls know what they are missing and what they need.
There can never be a doubt for me, that whatever else I believe, I was created in Love’s image. I can think of no greater aspiration. If my friends who leave this world before me can go with a piece of my heart, if I can take with me a small piece from those I leave behind, I will have lived. What more could life offer me than a chance to whisper “I love you,” as I pass? Or perhaps to shout it.
I’ve been to several weddings in the last few years, and as most of you know, it is popular in many ceremonies to have a reading from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Paul talks about how love is patient, and kind and does not envy. As always, I apologize if I am stepping on toes. Paul is mistaken, about a great many things in my opinion, but certainly about this one. That is not the image in which I was created. Love is a challenge. It is a struggle to forge through pain and difficulty by learning how to tolerate and forgive. That fits the description of what I see in the mirror a little better.
Sorry everybody. I cry. I scream. I rage. I’m unbearably jealous sometimes, I spend far too much time playing with my good friends, pity, apathy and loneliness, and I constantly forget to believe in myself. But you know what? I love you. I really do, with all my heart.
Some of you believe Paul’s word is perfect. I love you! Some of you really believe God is a He. I love you! Some of you believe there is something wrong with me if I fell in love with a girl. I love you too! Some of you were even born Geminis! Okay, I’m kidding about that. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as a Gemini. But if you were one, I would still love you as much as anyone else. The thing here is, every single one of you was born naked. And guess what? I love you!
Nudity is the most natural state our bodies can have. It is, hold onto your chairs please, our image. It is the image of love. And yet for some reason, some of us fear it more than we would fear cancer or utter solitude. I honestly think the reason for this is because we are taught a false lesson about what love is, and whose image we bear. Regardless, the fear is there, it is real, and it causes the hands of censorship to cast a cloak over love.
Grr! This is me being angry! Angry at you who raise that hand, angry at you who cast that cloak. Angry at you because I love you, and because being angry at you is what someone who loves you should do! You need to be spanked and put in a corner! That thing that you hid tore away from me other people or other things that I loved! You were senseless, you were selfish, you were hurtful and you were wrong! And what you did breaks my heart!
I am going to tolerate what you did, because I believe it’s the only way you can learn from my example. I am going to forgive what you did, because it is the only way to put the smile back on my face. I am going love you as I have always loved you, because you deserve to hear my whisper. But I will never embrace you in your selfish destruction of the feelings of others.
Nudity is the image of love. Love may be a four-letter word, but it is not the four-letter word you should fear. Fear is. I love you.
© 2010 Anne Schilde