Love changes everything

August 31, 2017

Daniel Fachting, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist, Lay Minister at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Clare, and Chancellor for Knights of Columbus Council #3029. He can be reached at fachtingcounseling1@gmail.com or by calling (989) 386-8166.

Daniel Fachting, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist, Lay Minister at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Clare, and Chancellor for Knights of Columbus Council #3029. He can be reached at fachtingcounseling1@gmail.com or by calling (989) 386-8166.

Many years ago Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney starred in a wonderful movie, “Boys Town”.

In this classic about the founding of Boys Town by Father Flannigan there is a scene in which a young teen shows up at the orphanage carrying his younger brother on his back.

When Father Flannigan reached down to take the younger boy, the older said something to this affect, “It’s ok, Father. He ain’t heavy. He’s my brother.” I often observe elderly people caring for one another and I am reminded of Boys Town. “She ain’t heavy. She’s my wife.”

If our eyes are open, we see it in a mother or father’s love for their children, or in the love toward elderly parents. When I observe this kind of love I am humbled and must acknowledge that I see God. I see it in the couple who care for each other through terminal illness, or with those who are handicapped. What would seem to be burdensome and to be avoided at all costs, becomes something beautiful as the love they have is revealed.

It is at these times that I become aware of the transforming power of love. It changes the person being loved, but it greatly changes the person doing the loving. Sometimes a wife brings her husband for counseling. Inevitably, we have a conversation about the progress the husband is making in therapy and that is easily noticed.

What isn’t as easily noticed is the gradual change that happens in the wife. As she loves her husband, is patient with him, has to adjust to put up with his illness, as she takes him to every appointment with many doctors, I see the change in her as she faces the probable outcomes.

Transcending her frustration, fatigue, stress, anger, and sadness is love. “It’s ok, Doctor. He ain’t heavy. He’s my husband.”

When we truly love God, the rules are not focused on so much. Just as when we love another person, we no longer feel that we have to follow the rules. We want to follow the rules. Just as we follow the rules of relationship because we love the person, we want to follow God’s rules, because we love Him. Love transforms fear. Some follow the rules because they fear God. Love says that we ought not fear God, but fear not pleasing Him because he loves us. I don’t fear my wife, I fear that some time I might do something that would offend her, because I love her and she loves me. My hope is that we age we can say, “My beloved is not heavy. She’s my spouse.” Perhaps we hear God saying, “You aren’t heavy. You’re my child.” We can respond, “God’s rules aren’t heavy. I love him.”

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