Monday, November 2, 2009

Armchair QB


We hung out with the Metro Green crowd this week. One of the things I really like about this community is that it seems less like "this is God's due hour for the week" and more like "this is a time we refocus on, synchronize with God and then we get back to work." I know I haven't been with them for all that long, but that is just my take. There is an authenticity that my husband and I appreciate.

Today a community member, Sara, spoke on "What is Love?" This topic is as wide and vast as the human experience across time. Two things struck me tho.

First, to be true, love has to hurt. This was actually a quote from Blessed Mother Teresa who probably knew a thing or two about love hurting as she served, and loved, the poor and dying in Calcutta. I think of the hurts I have felt as I loved a child, from the pain of labor to the labor to raise him, to the pain of letting him make mistakes. I think of relationships that are changing, that hurt because I love them. I think of the losses of loved ones and that acute, sharp pain of the separation.

Can I still love knowing the end is coming, the changes that will occur? Am I brave enough to cradle the pain knowing it is the face of love?

Not usually. I am a wimp. God's love is steadfast, not fickle with emotions like mine. God doesn't love with regard to the outcome or reward or worthiness of the object of His affections.  Thankfully, God IS brave enough to cradle the pain knowing it is the face of love.

Second, as Sarah noted that famous passage read at a multitude of weddings, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  In my Bible I saw a note in the margin that I made when Dave Martin taught on this. He said since God is love, we could substitute God where love is written. It goes like this:

God is patient, God is kind.
He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud.
He is not rude, He is not self-seeking,
He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs.
God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

God never fails.

What an amazing meditation on God, a meditation that we can almost touch, that makes sense. Along with this Love = God thought, Sarah pointed out that we are manifestations of God's love. Not just in the sense that God formed us before we were born, has a plan for us, gave us grace and adopted us as His children...but we bless the world around us...God blesses the world thru us.

There will always be skeptics who will find ways to explain away things. The History Channel just had a whole episode on how aliens influenced ancient culture. Spiritual experiences can be a manifestation of mental illnesses or organic brain diseases. But, when Grace changes me, when I am humble and kind instead of prideful and critical, when I am generous and sacrificial instead of stingy and ambitious, well, there isn't always an easy explanation for that.

I suppose an alien pod person might take over my body...or maybe, maybe, it is just Love, the Love that = God.

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