Parkinson’s and Saved by Love

We are saved by love.

Viktor Frankl was marching down icy road at night with other prisoners from the Nazi death camp. One prisoner said, “If our wives could see us now! I do hope they are better off in their camps and don’t know what is happening to us.” This caused Frankl to think about his wife. His mind clung to his wife’s image. He heard her speaking to him, smiling at him. “Real or not, her look was then more luminous than the sun, which was beginning to rise.”

“A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life, I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still my know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved.” (Man’s Search For Meaning: an Introduction to Logotherapy)

In the most despicable Nazi death-camp conditions, Frankl found temporary relief of suffering through and in human love. Love enabled him to “know bliss” and escape the physical suffering he was experiencing. Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire because God is love. 1 John 4:16: So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

Frankl did not fully grasp the truth he saw. The Bible affirms that the salvation of mankind is through love and in love. John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” We are saved by the love of God.

Parkinson’s tests love. But it also reveals the saving power of love. Parkinson’s is healed through and in love – the love of the caretaker, the love of family, the love of a PD support group, and most importantly the love of God. The salvation of my wife with Parkinson’s is through love and in love. I am learning the truth that love is the ultimate and highest goal. Loving God and my wife is the ultimate and highest goal to which I can aspire.

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