Bishop John Shelby Spong, A New Christianity for a New World, 2001
When we human beings know love, we seem to grow. Love is present in embryonic forms in all aspects of life. It is seen when subhuman species of life guard the hiding places of their young, when the tongue of the adult feline creature washes the fur of the kitten, when the bird flies forth to gather food for the helpless occupants of the nest, or when two turtle-doves couple in a lifelong union. But this kind of life-giving love is even more profoundly seen in the human experience, where it can be entered self-consciously, chosen freely, and appropriated fully. The absence of love in the infancy of the human offspring is as lethal as the presence of a fatal disease. The presence of love is the source of both life and growth.
Love is manifested in the human willingness to venture beyond the boundaries of safety, to risk losing ourselves, and even in the desire to explore the crevices of the unknown. Love creates stability, but not stagnation. Love calls us into being; it expands our lives as it flows through us. If love is ever blocked, it dies. Love has to be shared, or it ceases to be love. Love binds us into larger and larger communities. Loves frees us from the pejorative definitions that result in exclusion. Love transcends barriers, unites, and calls. Love enhances life.