Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Desperation and Love

So, what is it? Follow Jesus from desperation? His hand is the only one available? Or is it love? His love pulling on the love he built into me, that I don't want to know about?

All I know is that I'm fighting like hell to stay away from it. Desperation I understand. Love is something else.

You'd think God would really be steamed. But what, really, has changed? I was depraved before I met him, I'm depraved now. The only difference is that I know more of the depth of my depravity. I know that I greet his kindness with "Go away" because all I can see is the future, and I'm scared of what might happen.

Love is inconvenient. I know that. I don't like inconvenience. If I have to give up adventure, love, creativity, joy, and anything else that makes God's kind of life, I will, in order to retain my understanding of who I am and what I'm doing. I just don't want the upset.

Well, God knows all this. I think he's sad. He's patient, though. Willing to wait until I've come to the end of this skein and am hanging over nothing. He has already shown me that, no matter what, he won't let me fall. When my yarn ends, his hand is there.

How in the world could I even entertain the idea that I can learn that kind of love? Love seems to be connected to the depression. God promised an end to my depression, but I'm willing to keep that familiar millstone rather than go his way into love that simply goes on loving, no matter what happens. But, it's inevitable, really. God promised, and he keeps his promises. And I have asked him to hold me to my end of the promise, and no amount of hiding, weasel-wording or ignoring God changes the fact that the Holy Spirit gives me an itch that can only be alleviated by following Jesus.

That's the standard. Love never quits, love is kind. We've read the words and they sound wonderful. And then God starts bringing them to life in a dead soul, and growing pains become the rule of the day. Every day I better understand the appeal of rules-based Christianity, of complacency, of staying with the herd. That's all easier than getting up in the morning knowing it's going to be another struggle with the living God who breathes the fire of love.

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