Saturday, July 16, 2016

I Love You with the Love of the Lord – Jim Gilbert

Perhaps Jim Gilbert was trying to say he admired someone for doing or saying something laudable. That’s the moment that would make a person say “I Love You with the Love of the Lord”, as Jim Gilbert evidently wanted to mark with a song in 1977. Did the moment also come with applause or a handshake, or even a bear hug with the individual to communicate the appreciation Gilbert felt? Was it the culmination of a challenging episode, maybe one that had been debated and prayed over for some time, ending in the choice being made that stirred the hearts of the onlookers, or at least Jim?  Capture that moment in music, Jim says, so you and the others involved can relive it and repeat it for others who make a turn toward Him.

If you say you don’t know much about Jim Gilbert, you’re probably not alone. He’s fairly anonymous, with just his name, date of birth (1950), and the year he wrote these loving words apparent to the researching eye. But, what 27-year old Gilbert did say with his few words reveals something interesting, showing a rapport perhaps only possible between people who’ve decided there’s a higher being who’s inspiration they need. His verses tell us he saw something in an individual that he thought reflected God’s Spirit (v.1), and he boldly asked that person to reciprocate the approval he was sending in his or her direction (v.2). One person can ‘love’ another person, but to ask the receiver of my love to return those earthbound feelings in like manner can be a risk – he or she might not feel the same way. I cannot dictate a mutual love relationship. It’s a choice. But, in the spiritual family in which I’m an adopted son, I can expect others to love me, just by asking them to do so. In fact, they might just do that without me first asking. Jim’s third (or in some versions, perhaps fourth) verse says that God started this kind of ‘first-strike’ love, against all odds. He chose to let the unthinkable happen – dying, which would normally separate those who would love one another. Except, there was more.  

He tried to tell others that He was about to do something that would turn love on its head. Ever notice their reaction when He told the twelve over and over again that His love was about to reach fruition through His own execution, and then resurrection? It’s like they were blind and deaf, unable to grasp His meaning. It was only clear once it happened, all initiated by Him. So, it kinda is a marvel to see love work in His way, versus the way we try to implement it among each other outside of Him. What would happen if more of us loved His way, letting Him initiate the bond?      

No sources were available for this composer, and only the information derived from song hymnals and the attribution commonly associated with the printed music contributed to the song story.

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