Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

Our Common Human Hospitality

Saturday, May 19th, 2018

Our common human hospitality longs to find room for those who are left out. It’s just who we are if allowed to foster something different, something more greatly resembling what God had in mind. Perhaps, together, we can teach each other how to bear the beams of love, persons becoming persons, right before our eyes. Returned to ourselves.

— Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart, p. xv

[Photo: Burg Dahn, Germany, July 1997]

Loving Life

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Very few of us love life enough… Most of us allow small things to get in the way of our enjoyment of life, and we get into the habit of not seeing all the wonderful things that are in our lives. I see this bad habit start at a very early age. When I see a young child who is not getting their own way, I will sometimes see them suck in the love-of-life energy. It doesn’t normally last long with a young child, though, and within a few minutes I will see this energy burst forth again.

As an adult, if we are not used to letting this energy burst forth, it may take us a little longer to remember how to do it. The more conscious you become of loving life, the more you build up this energy, which helps you physically and mentally.

It is important to bring love of life to the work you are doing, whatever it is. You don’t have to love the job — it may be far short of what you aspire to — but when you approach it with love of life, you will be able to enjoy it, do a good job, and make the best of any opportunities it brings.

— Lorna Byrne, Love from Heaven, p. 110-111

[Photo: Keukenhof, Holland, April 17, 2004]

Path to Greatness

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

We can measure the quality of our lives by the relationships of mutual inspiration we’ve cultivated. These are the relationships that allow us to trust life. They are the very foundation of joy. Without such inspiration, any love will wither. And without these relationships, we too will wither, reverting to smaller, more defensive and wounded versions of ourselves. Humans are a lot like rubber bands: we shrink to a small, comfortable size unless we’re held to greater expansion by forces outside our ourselves. Relationships of inspiration expand us to a size we could never achieve alone.

These relationships are not only the path to love; they are the path to our own greatness. Through them we can find a way past the fears and wounds that dwarf us. Popular psychology tells us that we can only love others if we love ourselves first. But the real truth is often the other way around: until we feel seen and loved in the places we’re most vulnerable (usually the places of our deepest gifts), few of us will ever be able to fully love ourselves. That’s the great boon of relationships of inspiration. We experience our loved one seeing into our very core — and valuing what he sees. In the wake of this experience comes a sense of bravery, an innate desire to share our gifts — not out of obligation but from a sense of joyful overflow. And that makes us into just the kind of person we are looking for — one who inspires others simply by being who she is.

— Ken Page, Deeper Dating, p. 90-91

[Photo: Rhein River, Germany, as seen from Burg Rheinstein, July 1997]

The Wideness of the Tent

Saturday, May 5th, 2018

This desire to learn what the faith is from those who have lived it in the face of being told they are not welcome or worthy is far more than “inclusion.” Actually, inclusion isn’t the right word at all, because it sounds like in our niceness and virtue we are allowing “them” to join “us” — like we are judging another group of people to be worthy of inclusion in a tent that we don’t own. I realized in that coffee shop that I need the equivalent of the Ethiopian eunuch to show me the faith. I continually need the stranger, the foreigner, the “other” to show me water in the desert. I need to hear, “here is water in the desert, so what is to keep me, the eunuch, from being baptized?” Or me the queer or me the intersex or me the illiterate or me the neurotic or me the overeducated or me the founder of Focus on the Family.

Until I face the difficulty of that question and come up, as Philip did, with no good answer . . . until then, I can only look at the seemingly limited space under the tent and think either it’s my job to change people so they fit or it’s my job to extend the roof so that they fit. Either way, it’s misguided because it’s not my tent. It’s God’s tent. The wideness of the tent of the Lord is my concern only insofar as it points to the gracious nature of a loving God who became flesh and entered into our humanity. The wideness of the tent is my concern only insofar as it points to the great mercy and love of a God who welcomes us all as friends.

— Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastrix, p. 94

[Photo: Meadowlark Gardens, Virginia, April 3, 2012]

God as Savior

Friday, May 4th, 2018

The cross is many things, but it is not a quid pro quo to mollify an angry God. Above all things, the cross, as the definitive moment in Jesus’s life, is the supreme revelation of the very nature of God. At the cross Jesus does not save us from God; at the cross Jesus reveals God as savior! When we look at the cross we don’t see what God does; we see who God is!

— Brian Zahnd, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, p. 82

[Photo: Glenveagh, Ireland, July 2001]

Higher Mercy

Monday, April 30th, 2018

When Isaiah throws out the higher-ways-of-God argument [in Isaiah 55:6-9], it isn’t to defend the vengeful punishment of God, it is to defend the abundant mercy of God! To take this text and use it to defend a conception of divine justice and goodness that certainly seems much worse than any human understanding of justice and goodness is to use this text for the opposite purpose than it was originally intended. If we take the context seriously, and we should, the higher-ways-of-God argument can be more appropriately used to defend the universalist position than the traditionalist one. God’s ability and desire to pardon is beyond our understanding!

— Heath Bradley, Flames of Love, p. 22

[Photo: Riverbend Park, Virginia, April 20, 2018]

A Lovely Light

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

We do not draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by teling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.

— Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water, quoted in Madeleine L’Engle, Herself, compiled by Carole F. Chase, p. 155

[Photo: South Riding, Virginia, March 16, 2015]

Friends

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

If we could acknowledge to ourselves and to our good friends that we love them, our lives would be more fulfilled and happy.

— Lorna Byrne, Love from Heaven, p. 53

[Photo: Herndon, Virginia, October 23, 1999]

Let Go of Grievances

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

Today, let go of any grievances that you have toward anyone. Bless them, and feel yourselves opening the door to receive once again. Feel all of the love that comes through this doorway, feel all of the abundance that is coming toward you.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 308

[Photo: Riverbend Park, Virginia, April 20, 2018]

Self-Giving Love

Friday, April 20th, 2018

Jesus was innocent, yet he died the death of the guilty. But notice what overall narrative frames this statement (in 2 Corinthians 5:21). It is not the quasi-pagan narrative of an angry or capricious divinity and an accidental victim. It is the story of love, covenant love, faithful love, reconciling love. Messianic love. It is the story of the victory of that love, because that self-giving love turns out to have a power of a totally different sort from any other power known in the world (which is why Paul is happy to say that he is strong when he is weak).

— N. T. Wright, The Day the Revolution Began, p. 253

[Photo: Riverbend Park, Virginia, April 20, 2018]