..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Chance to Love

I went out for a walk with the smallest
dog and enjoyed the beauty of the fall
evening: looked into people's houses
as they cooked dinner, watched tv,
went about their lives. I always
wonder what another's heart feels like.

What is all this? All that presents itself
as life, if not just a curiously wrapped
chance to love? No doubt our God who is
love made the world simply to love it.
Simply to have and to hold, to have a
place to put His love, and a chance to
have even the smallest slice of it be
given back to Him in return.

For all the times I don't understand why God
made the world, tonight I feel I might:
a mighty Love compelled Him to create
something to bask in His love.

We have a God who seems to have one answer
to every question: Love! We have a God
who seems to not offer any other options
when we come to Him with our questions: Love!
We have a God who seems to think that
Love is unconquerable and headed for sure
victory. Love? Love! Love! Love!

I stand under the waterfall of Love and feel
it pound against me. It seems more an external
force, pounding against my skin, pounding against
the big ball of all that is not love that
lives under my skin. My heart knows Love,
but does not. My mind knows Love, but does
not. I hope in Love, and do not. I trust in
Love and mistrust its abilities. I wait for
Love, and don't know if it is here to stay, or
has just sprinkled itself like rose petals
strewn at a wedding, a one night stand rushing
past us mere mortals to somewhere else.

And yet, there is a Love within, a buoyant
strong Love, a Love that sustains bullishly,
a Love that rises up fiercely, a Love
that will not let me go. That Love
is Love indeed, closer than a brother,
stronger than a mountain.
A love so close I might not see the Love forest
for the trees of bewilderment, pain, and
human distraction unless I choose to
look or unless Love comes rolling
into to my living room unannounced.
It does that sometimes. I heard from
a friend today and she was laying
down in the middle of a thunderstorm
and looked up to see a giant blue
ball of power and light suspended
in the room. Yikes! Love can roll
in like that when it wants to make
a statement. Fortunately for my friend,
it was only her tv that got fried.

I grew up amidst the Jesus People, singing,
"Love, Love, Love, Love, Christians this
is your call, love your neighbor as your
self for God loves us all. Love, Love,
Love, Love, the gospel in a word is Love."

Who knew what that really meant? But
it grabbed ahold of something inside of me
and has never let me go. Past all
my constraints, love has backed me into
a corner. No matter how I phrase my
questions, SomeOne answers "Love."
No matter what argument I put up, no
matter how weak I feel, how desperately
I push other buttons, only one message
is printed on the receipt: "Love"

Today, this very minute, each and every
minute, you and I have a chance to love.
Along the path of today I looked squarely
into people's faces, most were lost in
their own worlds. One person felt me
really looking as I walked past, she
glanced up quickly and her face was
full of life. She smiled at me. It
helped my soul. It was a chance she took
to love. I smiled back and we both
"got it."

A little boy sitting in his stroller,
kept looking at me. I smiled at him,
prayed for his young life, it was my
chance to love. I kept my heart open
when I would rather have shut it today,
a chance to love. I hoped in God when
I felt unsure, another chance.
I made the phone call, made several,
when I felt the need to be called
instead of call: love, love, love
love, Christians this is your call.

I prayed for all the people whose
prayer requests came suddenly to
mind like a flock of gulls descending:
God's call to love.

All these things I say not to
bring attention to me, but to
remind me, remind us, of how often we
have a chance to love, and how fleeting
some of those chances are. Oh, and
Dear God, I forgot the man at the
paint store, he seemed sad, please
take care of his situation, known
only to You.

I know I missed a few chances to love
today, but I will be looking again
tomorrow. I hope you will be
looking, too. Life is made up of
moments, it is the small choices
that may count more than the big
ones when it is all added up.

Take your chance to love, and
love heartily, love unreservedly,
love as God loves us. Love
in broad daylight or love
like a UPS man on Christmas
Eve: leave the love package
on the doorstep, ring the
bell, and run. Love does not
need to be promoted. It just needs
to be delivered. It will find its
mark. Leave it to God. God's love
will take us to a place where
we have never been, and that place
will be very, very good.

Where there is no love,
pour love in, and you
you will draw out love

--John of the Cross.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post...God spoke to me as I read it today.