lumpy love

lumpy loveThe whole of our love for each other is lumpy
Because love is specific
And because we are all lumpy.

It is easy to say you love the whole world.
It is harder to love an individual.
Sometimes their warts get in the way.
Sometimes yours are the problem.

We all hold within us insight and befuddlement.
We hold the whole mix of emotions
And motivations
And misconceptions.
We are both right and wrong
Good and bad.

When we love those whose
Confusions align with our own
Is that love or simple resonance?

Perhaps it is love with training wheels.

Mature love can be bigger,
More encompassing.
It begins to mimic the love of God,
Who sends rain on the just and the unjust.

Let us all raise our faces to that rain
And drink in the moisture
That lets us truly flourish.

We’ve had enough of dry times.
Let it rain.

 

[photo by Becka Spence per cc 2.0]

words’ play

a movie stillness
There is a set of words that seem to vibrate between noun and verb –
Wonder
Presence
Hope
Faith
Love.

Even when you place an article in front of them
A wonder
A presence
My hope
My faith
Your love
They won’t stand still.

You cannot pin them to the page.
They want to dance.
You can’t point to them… and yet you know they are there.
They are not just a thing… or an action.

They play my ribs like a piano.
They evoke being –
Evoke it in me … and in the world
And that changes everything,
Or, at least, it could.

[photo by Patrick Emerson per cc 2.0]

Are there two Christianities?

twoYeah, I know there are lots of denominations … and non-denominations. I know that everyone of us holds life with different hands. But it seems to me, of late, that there are two main branches. One is worried about the sorry state of our souls and the world at large. One sees beauty and the imprint of grace in each encounter. One sees the foundational story of the world as ‘the fall.’ One looks a bit earlier to ‘God saw that it was good.’

My soul has gravitated … or perhaps fled … to the hope of beauty. It has fled to the assurance of God’s creative love, to a redemption that does not deny that things can get ugly – but knows that everything, everything can be turned to good – that ‘all things’ can be turned to work in that direction. In fact, that all things are in the hands of one who can do – is doing – that turning. That ‘all manner of things will be well.’

Is it my own state of privilege that allows me the luxury of that view? Is it that I have not suffered the abuse that makes the ugly so evident? Is it that I have not borne the scars of hate upon my soul?

The thing that mitigates against the conclusion that this hope is a privileged mirage – is the cross. There is no travesty that can keep God’s love at bay. God loves the world that murdered the son. The son promised immediate paradise to the one who hung beside him – and prayed forgiveness to those who drove the nails.

There are some basics, here – faith, hope and love – these three.

The basics do not include guilt or fear. In fact, the trio, above, works to mitigate the fears that would hold me captive. Perfect love, you know, casts out fear. Faith is counted as righteousness.  Hope does not disappoint.

The starting point of my faith is not ‘all have sinned,’ as true as that may be. Instead my faith is born in ‘nothing can separate us.’

[photo by Rev Stan per cc 2.0]

known by our love?

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – Jesus

Is this how we are known? By our love?

By that love that is patient and kind; is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. By love that does not insist on its own way; is not irritable or resentful … that love?

The love without which I am nothing? … that love?

And must I show that love toward those who are ready to push their convictions down my throat?

Geez.

[check out this reflection on the topic by a Thought Pastor friend]