Tuesday, November 04, 2008

wage love

Saturday night I had the privilege of attending Sabbath dinner at a friend’s house. He is a man who has struggled with his anger and not being able to connect with others in a loving way. The focus of the evening was to put away politics, the market, and other worries that keep us from finding delight in who we are. We began the evening with the lighting of candles and listening to a beautiful song by Kate Wolf called “Give Yourself to Love.” We then broke bread and shared wine in an act of communion as we began the shared meal.

The purpose of this post was not to write the details of this Sabbath evening, but to recall several moments that I have encountered during the last few days. Our host shared with us a picture of him at less than one year of age. He was being held in the arms of a loving aunt. As he shared this photo, he recalled that her arms had been a place of safety, trust and love for him while growing up in a household devoid of affection. As he spoke, my own mind turned to my beloved kindergarten teacher and I could feel her warm embrace and my own sense of safety and love when I was wrapped in her enveloping bosom. Being in her arms was a beautiful and pure experience of unconditional love—much as I imagine my host received from his aunt.

Yesterday, I listened to another story from a woman of a different culture. She is one of several daughters in a family that values boys most highly. She had been raised to believe that she was nothing. She spoke of many years of emotional abuse--first at the hands of her parents and then for 30 years with a self-centered husband. Somewhere deep inside this woman, however, there was a spark that kept her alive and reaching for the love she knows is available, but does not believe she has yet found.

All of these stories led me to wonder about what it is that keeps us searching for love. What are the moments that give us hope in the midst of chaos and hurt? What is the impact of a simple hug or cradling in the arms? What is the power that lets us know love exists?

The woman of this story believes she is searching for God’s love. She knows it is there. She believes it to be true. She wants to believe it in human form so that she can believe it to be true of God. Again I wonder…can the two be separated? Is that not what being incarnational means? Jesus was God incarnate. Is it not our greatest mission in life to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves? Do we not share incarnational love when we give ourselves unconditionally to another?

So, that’s what is on my mind this morning. Yesterday, Abbey of the Arts offered a beautiful post called, Wage Peace. My challenge to you (& me) today is to Wage Love. You never know when you might be someone’s spark that keeps the hope of love and life alive.

“Give yourself to love if love is what you’re after.
Open up your heart to tears and laughter.” --Kate Wolf

photos from st. severin church & musee d'orsay -- paris 2.08

13 comments:

SUNRISE SISTER said...

Lovely post.

xoxo

lucy said...

thank you :-)

so weird...readership seems to be up...commenting down...wonder what the deal is?

you and riley have been awfully silent... xoxoox

Kerstin said...

I'm still here, too! This is a very thoughtful and true post, I especially love the title (I can totally see it as the perfect slogan on a t-shirt!) Love comes in many forms, but to me the gesture of affection is also one of the most powerful ones. And what a beautiful thought to be someone's spark, I love that.

Kerstin

P.S. Your little package went out yesterday :)

SUNRISE SISTER said...

Wow - your new format woke me right up this morning. Very energizing!

Yes, Riley and I have been knee deep in Art Center duties. There's something wrong with the "picture" when one wanting to create art finds onself spending far too much time trying to meet the needs of others in volunteer work for the arts! I think that picture will be changing very soon. thanks for missing us:)

Laure said...

"All of these stories led me to wonder about what it is that keeps us searching for love."

for me, lucy, it is God living deep inside me ... loving me ... loving me first ... as deep calls unto deep. i am compelled by His profound love to be united with Him inside that love ... that is some of the wooing ... the keeping on with the search for me.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

I definitely read this post at the right time and thank you so much for your post! It is heartfelt, full of love and the desire that brings us nearer to God, it is in that desire that I dwell, to know and feel God, to acknowledge that God is there...always!
Thank you,
g

lucy said...

thanks, kerstin. i realized this morning that i had failed to (as you recommended) switch my blog feed to your new site. glad you stopped here and now i think i am caught up with you too :-)

SS--i have no idea how many readers woke up to that page, but as you can see i have switched back for the time being. creatively bored, but not sure how to make the changes on my site that i want to.

hope you and riley get back to your own creativity soon!!!

laure--i so agree that it is the God deep within us. i think in this post i was more musing about what brings us back to "the deep" when we have allowed it to get covered up...and seeing how small gestures of human love can help us to remember and awaken.

G--your words have come at a perfect time for me as i sit lacking in my own inspiration. reminds me of another song..."you don't have to feel inspired to inspire." :-) thank you!!

Lizabeth said...

There's so much I want to say in response to this. What a powerful post! If I have a moment, or perhaps, a whole afternoon, I'll try to respond a bit on my blog but for now--
First, how it seems to be one of the essential characteristics to what it means to live, this longing for love. I recently retuned to a paper I wrote on the life and works of Father Bede Griffiths the following quotation holds much truth for me, and I think, addresses the questions you pose (it's Father Bede speaking about the influence of Father Monchanin):
"'The whole life of Father Monchanin centered on the Trinity. When he died in Paris in 1957, he was meditating and discoursing on the Trinity on his deathbed. He was a great theologian; [he] said that esse (in Latin “to be”) is always coesse (“to be with”)—to be in relationship. There is no such thing as being that is not in relationship.”
On this note, how we distance ourselves, all the things that seemingly get in the way of love, strike me as counter-intuitive perhaps and could I say "strictly human?" I think of anger, which you, so importantly, brought up at the beginning of your post, and of my own experiences with anger-morphing into a crazy sort of RAGE-and how these experiences seemingly out of nowhere, isolate and cut off those very things I need most: connection, love, forgiveness etc..
"Big sigh"
Thanks for your post...

lucy said...

lizabeth--thank you for this passionate response. i am so glad to hear it touched you and i look forward to seeing what you decide to post! peace.

Laure said...

yes, lucy, i am perfectly aware of what you were musing about. my comment was my response to some of your post. were you really trying to correct me here?

lucy said...

oh, goodness no, laure...there was definitely no intention of "correcting"! for me, it's the "God getting covered up" by MY mess that i sometimes overlook, so i imagine i was reminding myself! please do forgive me if i offended you in any way!!

Tess said...

Others have said much of what is in my mind reading this lovely post.
I often think of the passing interactions with strangers in terms of "waging love" and how much difference the occasional small kindness from someone else can make.
(Love the photos!)

lucy said...

tess--thanks for the comment and the "photo love".