(Also, a Valentine’s Day post of sorts.)
First Love1 is one of my new favourite P&W songs. We began using it right from the start of SOW, and when R declared that this song would always remind him of the truths he learnt in SOW, I fell a little in love with the song too.
The lyrics of this song remind me that, even before I knew what or who I longed for, I was longing in the first place. Even before I was with Him, He was with me. Even before I loved Him, He was my first love.2
Perhaps, more importantly, He is my First Lover. Two points from Fr Jude’s theology classes last week bear this out. One, Fr Jude summarised Aquinas’ proofs of God’s existence into a single principle: regression. God is the primum movens, the First Cause. Two, Fr Jude spoke about perichoresis, and about how Creation bubbled forth from an overflow of the Trinity’s dance of love.
We sang First Love on Valentine’s Day.
In the past, I used to feel a little lonely on Valentine’s Day. It is easy to feel unloved amidst the exchange of roses and chocolates that I was never privy to.
But five years ago, my friend wrote me a story. In that story, love was kindled on 14 February 1989 – not the sweet romance of dating couples, but the well-worn love of married parents with two kids already in tow. In that story, that was how I was conceived. And nine months later, I was born.
Since then, Valentine’s Day has become a reminder for me that I was created in an act of love, and that with or without romance in my life, I am loved.
And so the particular reflects the universal: love pre-existed my creation, Love pre-exists Creation.
Therefore, if I love at all, it is because I am first loved.
1.The Chris Tomlin one; not the Japanese hit song.
2.See St Augustine of Hippo – “Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you. And see, you were within and I was in the external world and sought you there, and in my unlovely state I plunged into those lovely created things which you made. You were with me, and I was not with you. The lovely things kept me far from you, though if they did not have their existence in you, they had no existence at all. You called and cried out loud and shattered my deafness. You were radiant and resplendent, you put to flight my blindness. You were fragrant, and I drew in my breath and now pant after you. I tasted you, and I feel but hunger and thirst for you. You touched me, and I am set on fire to attain the peace which is yours.”