(inspired by a misty beach and conversation with the excellent Mandy Taylor)
On pondering love and a Grace filled community: When we love someone we aren’t waiting for them to be perfect, we aren’t even waiting for them to be nice to us. We are holding out love, peace, patience and more to someone who is undeserving of that. We aren’t to wait for them to become deserving of that love. We aren’t in a cosmic game of give and take, that way love just becomes karma. I love you with conditions. The conditions are just not meant to be there.
The thought that none of us deserve love is beating a drum in my head, could it be true, how could it be true? And what does it mean that we are loved anyway? What freedom might this mean if I accept I don’t deserve love and yet the love remains? What freedom could be found if I accept my family and friends act in ways that mean they don’t deserve love and yet I give it anyway? What freedom can be found in this kind of reckless, unself seeking love? The consequences of love like that leave me breathless.
I write that and somewhere in me I know it’s true, it’s what I long for, but it seems so ridiculously hard to make my emotions catch up with this way of thinking. If someone hurts me unconsciously or consciously, with a look, a word or more, I withdraw, I turn away, I pull back. It seems like crazy ass thinking to move closer, to give more of myself, to enter. It’s not an instant reaction. My instant reaction is to pull away, to leave.
That would be fine if there wasn’t this slight problem called- ‘the kind of love we are called to’. We’re not alone in this world. It’s not ours. We belong to someone who made us to love like He does. To learn from the love He has. To be embraced by that love and respond in kind.
How has He loved me? How has He loved his creation? The first thing He did when we turned our back way back in the garden was to come looking. No withdrawal, no running away, no tit for tat in relationship. He came looking. “Where are you?” was his question and He’s been asking it ever since. He came for us when we were his enemies. Not just when we’d made a face, or said the wrong word at the wrong time without realising. But when we were His enemies. When we were actively against Him, He came to us. Sought us out.
I long, I ache to not run away from the people who hurt me, consciously or unconsciously. I long to not hold things against them. I ache to be able to respond with grace and love and not demanding they respond to my every wish. I long to see things from their point of view. I long to be free of thinking that if I let go of my way of doing things I’ll end up alone and sad. I want to believe with my whole heart that I am not the centre of this world. I long to be free.