In late March, one of my favorite TV shows, “How I Met Your Mother”, wrapped up its 9 year run on CBS. The series finale, like most things of this world, came to an end, albeit with much fanfare and debate by its devoted fan base about how Ted Mosby finally met his true love under a yellow umbrella. Debating how the writers concluded the show is not my focus, nor will you find my opinion about it here; like most things of this world, it is inconsequential.
But as I watched the final episodes I found myself rewinding and replaying the following line, by protagonist Ted Mosby, from the second to the last episode entitled “The End of the Aisle”.
“Love doesn’t make sense. You can’t logic your way into or out of it. Love is totally nonsensical but we have to keep doing it or else we’re lost and love is dead and humanity should just pack it in… Because love is the best thing we do.”
This quote from the show contains much truth. It reminds us that the perfect love of God runs deeper in our souls than our superficial senses and is beyond our complete human understanding, yet God has equipped us with the faculty to receive this highest virtue and show it to others. Love does not mean easy or painless or pleasurable; in fact, at times it stands in direct opposition to our passions and desires. This love led the Israelites in the form of a fiery cloud through a desert for 40 years, despite complaints of empty stomachs and parched lips from ornery pilgrims who were constantly asking “are we there yet” or “why did I leave,” at every unknown turn.
It’s not just the wandering sheep that God’s unfathomable love perplexes, it even confounds the saints. St. Thomas’ reply when the love that has conquered all stands before him shattering his doubts, is “My Lord and My God (John 20:28).” This encounter surely leaves him with a deep sense of awe and wonder, but also personal knowledge of what Christ has done to win his salvation.
Yes, God’s love can be as tangible as reaching into the wounds of Christ and as mysterious as a fiery cloud of smoke leading the wandering through a desert. This seeming paradoxical reality leaves the world baffled and confused, but for those who encounter and experience His love, we don’t need a complete explanation to know it is good, to persevere through trial, or to demonstrate it to others. His Love compels us to keep loving, reminding the world we were created good by God.
Ted Mosby couldn’t be more right in saying “love is the best thing we do”, because we were created by Love itself and are made for love. If we stop attempting to love, humanity should pack up and say goodbye because without love we are nothing but dust. All of heaven knows this and so love has become the object sought after in the battle between Good and Evil. Angels and Saints are perpetually waging war against Satan and demons who seek to destroy love, the greatest of all virtues. The Ancient One who reigns on high has withheld nothing, not even His Only Begotten Son, and has won the victory.
Let us then imitate Christ in loving one another, and in doing so we might just be surprised at who we find standing under a yellow umbrella…