God and Jack White on the Inconvenience of Love

Every line is about his hopes for love, and yet the way he describes it is terrible – not noticeably love at all.

But love is a confrontational virtue. To love someone – family, friend, or spouse – is to stand with them despite adversity. Friends who flee at the first sign of difficulty are not really friends. Yet, love’s backbone is not reserved for only external challenges. To really love someone, you have to be willing to challenge the person you love. The family of an alcoholic does not love him when they avoid confrontation. The friends of a would-be artist do not love her when they avoid criticism.

The gospel is precisely this kind of “love interruption.” Having already introduced Jesus as the incarnate second person of the Trinity (John 1:1-18), the apostle John describes the final moments leading up to Jesus death this way: “…having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (13:1). The love of God is an expression of his own interruption. God interrupts his own life to come down for those he loves, even at the cost of the death of his own Son. No wonder the gospel interrupts our lives. When God’s love becomes clear, it interrupts our trajectories and overflows out of them so much that it rearranges all our relationships, all our ambitions, and all our desires. Love can’t be anything but an interruption.