To catch a glimpse of true love is a rare thing indeed. Today, I saw such love, and it was sight that helped me break free of my most recent pattern of addiction. The connection between these two events is perhaps indicative of the importance of keeping Love as the object of our “normative gaze.”
John’s gospel has Jesus say these words,
This text leaves unanswered the question of why there is this connection. Why is it that abiding in Jesus results in bearing fruit? To answer this question is identical to exploring the aforementioned “importance of keeping Love as the object of our ‘normative gaze.'”
Insofar as Jesus is the embodiment of Love, he is a contagion, a virus whose DNA is Love. To see Love unadulterated is to expose myself to something that my egoistic immunity cannot fight off. This Love is viral in that it is destructive: it results in destruction of my world, more than this, my very death.¹
This is an exciting discovery. It means that I have discovered a means to make my life more meaningful. More specifically, I have found a potential reason why it is the case that the normative gaze matters, which provides me a special motivation to adjust that gaze. Indeed, the fact that these words are written in “the good book” is one thing, but to understand the monkey-see-monkey-do connection in this case is much more compelling than the words on that page by themselves.
May I remember this lesson, and may it motivate me to adjust my normative gaze, so that I can (Love) Love in the truest sense of the word, die, and accomplish the absurd: to live despite this death.
1. The virus analogy obviously breaks down when I start talking about “the absurd.”