Tuesday, March 27, 2012

learning to be the loved one

Lord, grant me the love that pierces the heart; tears that are humble; desire for the homeland of heaven.

We are more afraid of being loved than of learning to love. Being the loved one puts one in a position of vulnerability. Offering love is often viewed as a posture of fullness and strength. It means one has something to give to another. We often think that giving is more powerful than receiving, but the truth is “giving” can easily stem from or become a position of control.

It takes a stronger person to be a receiver, to admit you need to receive. The love that pierces the heart is the love that is keenly undeserved for it is prefaced by our rebellion or apathy and it is often followed by our attempt to improve it somehow by being more competent (as if perfect love could ever be perfected more).

To be the truly loved one is to admit apathy, rebellion and incompetence. This is why we are more afraid of being loved than of learning to love. This is why God’s love pierces our heart, perfecting our failures. This is humbling.

“Let us try to be competent at loving others now. Let us do many good things for others,” we then say. Try this for awhile and you will see how your attempts to love others begin nobly, but in time they become more self-centered than you would care to admit. I often find myself doing good for others because I want them to think well of me. Notice—I do not do good for the sake of the other, I do it for my own sake. These acts of “love” are not truly love, for they are self-seeking. When we see this, we come full circle to learning to be the loved one all over again. This is when it is appropriate to weep in humility. This also stirs up desire for our true homeland where our impulse to love will flow naturally from our need to be loved. God’s love is your true homeland.

Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” -John 15:9

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