Thursday, June 23, 2005


Digging for the Mother Lode

Love and I have... an uneasy relationship. I figured it wasn't real. When Love Himself popped up and said "Hello!" I had to reevaluate.

God taught me what love is, by example. I know he loves me in ways far beyond the meanings conveyed by that feeble, overworn word. The most basic, the starting point, is his sending his own glorious Son to be spit on and beaten in our oh-so-correct world, so that He would then have access to the depths of my soul.

Since then he has continued to rain his love onto me, a rain that is both erosive and rebuilding. It dissolves the walls while it waters the desert I made of my soul so that the plants God put in there can start growing. All of this goes on for his own name's sake, not because I'm special or deserve it. He does it because he strongly desires fellowship with me.

The natural Hallmark-and-television response to the scenario would be for the subject of such love to gush forth "I love you" and send valentines. God's standard is higher: "If you love me, do the things that I command you." Well, I obviously don't do the things he commands, so QED I don't love him. There's a long list of things I'm supposed to do, starting with loving my neighbor as myself, and, well, it doesn't happen.

That's where I've left it. God loves me, I need him. Is it possible to transform need into love? It happens in movies, but real life is more harsh. Need drives people apart. Need drives people to God. What happens when the basic need is met?

Where, actually, does love come from? People say they love one another. What, actually, are they saying? I have strong feelings for God. Are those evidence of love?

This is one of those singularities I can't see beyond. Rational process can't figure out love, and my approach to God's love is very rational. There are good reasons for me to believe God loves me, and I stand by those reasons.

Reason, it seems, isn't quite enough. Lu talked about digging deep with the Holy Spirit's help, and the same has been happening with me. Some link through the luminiferous aether, I guess. God wants me to love him. He wants me to know I love him... and to feel it. I don't trust feeling at all. Give me facts and let me make up my own mind. It seems, from what the Holy Spirit and I were talking about last night, that this doesn't go far enough. Love at mental arm's length isn't the kind of love he wants; apparently limiting my expression that way has ramifications wider than I expected. It's just that: limiting, and God doesn't believe in limits.

Nor do I, really, having learned something of how the Holy Spirit works, but this is one of those big, deep, dark things lurking way down there, buried for very good reason. It's not the first of those I've had to give up, but each one is deeper than the last, and causes a greater soulquake when the Holy Shovel makes contact.

Love? Me? You must be kidding. No, he's not. I would simply panic and hit the dirt running... but for his grace, and what I've learned. Each time I've given up something like this the result has been great kindness from him, a sort of spiritual toughening-with-sensitivity that he somehow produces in me, and a new door opened.

And today? I'm irritable. I don't want His hands on this hidden part, but it is much too late. I can no longer stand the idea of being apart from God; just thinking about it hurts, and seems to hurt Him too. So I come and go in quick little flashes of obedience alternating with looking for my running shoes.

But God really is good at this kind of thing. He knows exactly what's in me, and his timing is, well, perfect. He somehow manages this running rebuild so that I can go on down the road while he rummages around in the basement, shaking things up but not apart. The Shovel of Love and the Glue of the Spirit. What a combination. Desperation leads in interesting ways.

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