Devotions from Henri Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love

God’s love is permanent and we can claim that love as a gift from Him and also give that love to others. When others stop loving us, we don’t have to stop loving them. Maybe on a human level, changes might be necessary, but on the level of the divine, we can remain faithful to this love. Some day we can offer to give gratuitous love that doesn’t ask for anything in return. We can also be free to receive that gratuitous love ourselves.  Often love is offered to us, but we don’t recognize it. We may discard it if we are fixed on receiving it from the same person to whom we gave it.  The paradox of love is that just when we claim ourselves as God’s beloved child, have set boundaries to our love, and contained our needs, we begin to grow into the freedom to give this love without asking for any return.