"The thing itself always slips away, which is what [Derrida], following Levinas, calls the “wholly other” that we love, what we want, in fact, to protect and “keep safe.” In a manner that reminds us of nothing so much as “negative theology,” he says that the thing itself is safe (sauf) if, and only if, it is safely secreted away, if what presents itself as the real is everything safe (sauf) the thing itself, which safely slips away. That is what Levinas means when he says that love “is a relation with that which slips away” (une relation avec ce qui se dérobe à jamais). For Derrida, in much the same sense as Levinas, love means to “surrender to the impossible,” se rendre, to render oneself over to, to give up one’s arms, and give oneself back to the impossible: “To surrender to the other, and this is the impossible, would amount to giving oneself over in going toward the other, to coming toward the other but without crossing the threshold, and to respecting, to loving even the invisibility that keeps the other inaccessible.”The “(loved) other” l’autre (aimé) must remain other, must be kept safe as other; and we must lay down our arms (rendre les armes) and surrender. By sacrificing or giving up the assault of “realism” on the world, we allow the thing itself to slip away—just to keep it safe and to show it our love—which is, of course, very close to Augustine saying that if you understand it, then what you understand is not God. If it is God, it eludes your grasp and always slips away."
John D. Caputo, What Would Jesus Deconstruct: The Good News of Post-modernism for the Church (via heteroglossia)