Words of Worth

Love is blind?

February 22, 2013

Love is blindMost of us have heard the expression, “Love is blind”, but may not know that Shakespeare coined the phrase, which was quite a favorite of his.

“But love is blind, and lovers cannot see
the pretty follies that themselves commit.”
— Shakespeare from The Merchant of Venice

The understood meaning of the quote is that loving another prevents us from seeing their faults and imperfections.  Interestingly, love’s blindness is not just the stuff of Shakespearean plays and figurative language. Modern research studies found that feelings of love can actually suppress activity in the areas of the brain that are responsible for critical thought!

I wonder if there is a cure for blind love. I wonder if there should even be a cure if love tends to be so positive about how we see others.  And if there were a cure, what would it be?  Is the cure what some people tease–“Love is blind; marriage is the eye-opener”?

Perhaps the cure is “undivided attention”.  When I was an elementary student, my teachers would request our “undivided attention”. That was back in the day before Al Gore invented the Internet and before cable television provided 1900 TV stations to distract us. It always made me giggle as I tried to imagine what my “attention divided” looked like, but it was our teacher’s way of saying, “Focus!”

Perhaps the cure is what we read in our book this month, Love Walked among Us. When Jesus loved, He wasn’t blind at all!  In passage after passage we read how Jesus’ compassion for people was preceded by His looking:

When He saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

Matthew 9:36

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Jesus looked and him and loved him.”

Mark 10:24

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When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby…Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”

John 19:26-27

 

It is risky to avoid turning a blind eye toward others because- if we look- it might cost us something or it might inconvenience us.  However, to be lovers of people as Jesus was, we need to see them, focus on them, and give them our undivided hearts of compassion.  Why not look around yourself this week and see who needs you to be blind to their imperfections but wide eyed about meeting their needs? (sv)

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