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Love That Overcomes

By Mark Davis Pickup

I wrote a film script I called Journey Toward Love. It chronicles the odyssey of love that my wife, LaRee, and I have experienced covering half a century in our journey toward the radical love of God. It is a radical love because it involves faith and surrender, and love of neighbor, even if they spitefully use us. It has involved the glory of life and the darkness of death. It has involved the anguish and chains of physical disability and the transcendence of love above it all. Great is the love that overcomes.

Saint John of the Cross compared faith to feet by which we journey toward God, and love is our guide. It is ironic that during the years that I could not actually use my feet because of disease, I continued to walk spiritually toward God. And yes, love was my guide. Now as an old man, I am discovering that the whole of my life—even in its darkest times—has been a journey toward love in its various forms.

LaRee and I are acutely aware that we are being led rather than leading. Our journey toward the love of God has an intimate connection to our love for each other. We are startled at the sudden change of direction in our journey of and toward love.

Over the past few months, I have discovered there is something that needs to heal and something that needs to die, something that needs to be rejected and something that needs to be embraced. There is something that needs to stop and something that must begin, something that needs to be changed and something that needs to be celebrated.

I think LaRee and I are getting to the heart of what matters in life and love. The purpose of life is to grow in love without strings attached. Trust that is broken must be forgiven. We must trust again without fear of whether it is wise or not. Our example is Christ. He forgave me when I thought I was unforgivable. He loves me though I may seem unlovable.

Christ loved those who hurt him—he is God-made-man[1] and God is love[2]. The journey toward the source of love (personified with the Incarnation) is the whole purpose for my time on earth. And I suspect that in your heart of hearts you will discover the same is true for you.

[1] John 1:9, 14, 1 John 4:2., Luke 1:35., 14:9, Romans 1:4., Colossians 1:15. Hebrews 1:2-3.
[2] 1 John 4:8.

Mark Davis Pickup has lived with aggressive multiple sclerosis for over 34 years. He has spoken across the United States and Canada promoting the sanctity, dignity, and equality of all human life. He has addressed politicians and legislative committees (both Canadian and American), university forums, hospital medical staffs, religious and denominational leaders, community groups, and organizations about the critical importance of protecting all human life from conception to natural death. Mark is also a widely published writer on bioethical and Christian issues and has received numerous awards, including the Monsignor Bill Irwin Award for Ethical Excellence, the William Kurelek Award for fostering respect and appreciation for the dignity of human life (Canada), and a Governor General’s Medal for Community Service.

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