"Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him.By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and feature" - Viktor Frankl
For a man who spent time in a Nazi concentration camp where he was viewed at most as an inferior race of humanity and at least as an ethnic problem to be solved, this struck me as quite profound. And it seems to echo one of the greatest existential questions that continually comes up in counseling, "do you see me?" The Invisible Man is collecting dust on the shelf in my room, but not for lack of desire to be read. I pulled it from the shelf of books at one of the outlying OPs with full intention to devote a sufficient amount of time towards saturating myself in what I vaguely know to be a classic novel. Without speaking ignorantly of a plot I know nothing of, I surmise that invisibility is a disease running all too rampant in the world today. What at first seems like a luxury becomes a curse, and our desire to know and be known overwhelms us. I imagine the wife who is invisible in her marriage, or the husband invisible at his workplace. The children invisible at home or school, the aged parent invisible in the chair waiting for a last breath to relieve them of the pain of invisible life.
Essentially, it besmirches our personal value and invalidates us, our existence is nullified and we fall into the category of "unlovable" and become the focus of those unmotivated souls tasked to come forth and love us at the behest of their well-intentioned pastor. However, the mere use of the term signifies that no matter how hard one may try, eventually they will find they are putting forth effort towards a futile task, if we truly are unlovable.
"Do you see me?" Because I am hiding behind the well-built exterior. Inside I am a mess. Inside I am confused and insecure. Inside I long for all those things that you long for. Can you see past my anger, into the hurt which breeds contempt? Can you see past my laughter, knowing that I only do so to keep you at arm's length for fear that you may see more when you get closer? Is there something redemptive in me that will make it worth your while to love me?
These are the questions that skirt the black hole of emotion that many people are circling, as water around a drain. These are the things that keep the wife or husband from feeling fulfilled and joyful in their marriage. This is the existential question that Jesus answers when he accepts the woman caught in adultery, the thief on the cross, Peter after he disowns him, and you and I as we seek to know him. His forgiveness of our sin and imputed righteousness answers this. It is not merely a transactional doing away with of his wrath, or of our guilt. It validates down to the very core of who we are. It reconnects us with who we were always intended to be, fully human, instead of merely human. When he reaches out and takes away our blindness, when he heals the hurt done to us through this world, and when he takes our sin upon him, he is screaming with joyous expression that we ARE lovable. We ARE forgivable. That he see the "innermost core of our personality" and he likes us. And we are inspired to love one another as we love ourselves, because only in light of His love can we begin to truly love ourselves. The enemy would seek to remind you of your unlovableness, but the Redeemer would reclothe you in a righteousness that makes you desirable to Himself. And that is a very comforting thought.