You’ve probably seen the movie “Bruce Almighty.” It’s about a television reporter named Bruce who is funny and caring and self-absorbed. His life is mainly about himself. In other words, he’s all of us. He has the great blessing to know a woman — the aptly named Grace — but he treats her as though she’s a planet revolving around him.
Bruce likes to get his way. At one point, he takes God to task for not making things go his way. And God — played by Morgan Freeman — decides to let Bruce become God for awhile. One of the catches: God can’t override free will.
In his new role as God, Bruce tries to get Grace to love him even though he’s still treating her as less than she deserves. She pulls away. Near the end of the movie, Bruce gets hit by a truck and meets God, who asks him what he really wants.
“Grace,” he says.
You want her back?
“No,” Bruce says. “I want her to be happy, no matter what that means. I want her to find someone who will treat her with all the love she deserved from me. I want her to meet someone who will see her always as I do now, through your eyes.”
God is moved.
“Now,” God says, “that’s a prayer!”
Isn’t that a wonderful definition of love — wanting whatever the other person needs to help them feel loved and special? Regardless of how it affects you?
It’s an ideal, of course. Our love is always limited by our neediness, our fears, our selfishness. That’s what it means to be human.
And then, there are those moments when we muster the courage and the love to reach beyond our limitations and do something divine. We try to love in a way that changes others and changes us, too.
We try to love others in such a way that we can say:
I love you enough that all I want is for you to know deep in your soul that you are loved for who you are.
I love you enough that I will try to help you see the countless ways in which you are special.
I love you enough that I will try to think about you and what you need at this moment. In essence, that is love.
I love you enough that I’m willing to try to work on my shortcomings.
I love you enough that I’m willing to leave my comfort zone to be with you, no matter where you are.
I love you enough that when you’re sad or suffering, I will be there to share so that your pain is made lighter. And I want to be there to share your joy, too.
I love you enough that I will challenge you to grow.
I love you enough that I invite you to challenge me to grow.
I love you enough that I’m willing to make myself vulnerable, which is one of the greatest expressions of love.
I love you enough that I will invite you to be vulnerable with me.
I love you enough that I’m willing to give you the space you need to be yourself and to grow.
I love you enough that I will let you go, if that’s what you need.
I love you enough that I not only recognize our differences, but embrace them.
I love you enough that I will never mock you or belittle you or treat you with a lack of respect.
I love you enough that I will try to encourage you rather than direct you.
I love you enough that I will try to listen to you with my heart instead of responding with my head.
I love you enough that I will ask your forgiveness.
I love you enough that I don‘t care what anyone else thinks of us. I care more about you than I do about them.
I love you enough that I accept the times you mess something up.
I love you enough that I will keep trying to love you better, to love you in the way you deserve to be loved. And as I do, I hope that you realize a little bit more each day how much you are loved.
Always more than enough.