Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

Inescapable Love

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

The notion of suffering as an offset for sin comes first of all, I think, from the satisfaction we feel when wrong comes to grief. We hate wrong, but, not being righteous ourselves, to a degree we cannot keep from hating the wronger as well. In this way the inborn justice of our nature passes over to evil. It is no pleasure to God, as it so often is to us, to see the wicked suffer. To regard any suffering with satisfaction, unless it be sympathetically with its curative quality, comes of evil and is a thing God is incapable of. His nature is always to forgive, and just because he forgives, he punishes. Because God is so altogether alien to wrong, because it is to him a heart-pain and trouble that one of his little ones should do the evil thing, there is, I believe, no extreme of suffering to which, for the sake of destroying the evil thing in them, he would not subject them. A man might flatter, or bribe, or coax a tyrant. But there is no refuge from the love of God. That love will, for very love, insist upon the uttermost farthing.

“That hardly sounds like love,” you say. “It’s certainly not the sort of love I care about.”

No, how should you? How should any of us care for it until we begin to know it? But the eternal love will not be moved to yield us to the selfishess that is killing us. You may sneer at such a love, but the Son of God, who took the weight of that love and bore it through the world, is content with it, and so is everyone who truly knows it.

— George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, “Justice,” quoted in Discovering the Character of God, edited by Michael Phillips, p. 261-262

Lit from Within

Monday, August 14th, 2017

When we’re in the Gift Zone we hold a certain luminosity. Even in sadness we are somehow lit from within, because we are holding our experience with a quality of compassion. This is the zone that attracts love. And like anything that precious, the stakes get raised if we want to claim it. Claiming our authentic self is one of the scariest and most heroic things we can do. In our Gift Zone, there’s a sense of aliveness, a sense of self — even if that sense of self doesn’t feel as secure or happy as we think it should. We brave a new frontier when we face the risk of entering our Gift Zone And that very sense of risk heightens our ability to love.

— Ken Page, Deeper Dating, p. 26-27.

God as Father

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

My own circle of friends finally noticed that Jesus’ favorite image of God was Father (seventy times in the Gospels!). Jesus showed us in the Gospels what fatherhood meant to him: extravagant love, affirmation, affection and belonging. It meant scandalous forgiveness and inclusion. Jesus showed us this supernaturally safe, welcoming Father-love, extended to very messy people before they repented and before they had faith. Or better, he was actually redefining repentance and faith as simply coming to him, baggage and all, to taste his goodness and mercy. He didn’t seem to appreciate our self-loathing. The repentance he wanted was that we would welcome his kindness into our deepest needs and wounds.

— Bradley Jersak, A More Christlike God: A More Beautiful Gospel, p. 22

The Best Gift We Can Give the World

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Many of us think our happiness depends on things outside of us. We think that we have to wait to be happy until some of these things are taken care of, but happiness comes from within. It is the best gift we can give the world, because happiness is infectious. Happiness is enlightening, and it gives hope. As a form of love, happiness spreads around. If a situation seems stuck, bringing happiness to it moves it forward, because there is so much creativity in happiness.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 254

God Gets the Last Word.

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

I believe hell is very real, yet I also believe that a God who is love is also real, and that this God gets the last word.

— Heath Bradley, Flames of Love, p. 1

Giving and Taking

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Teach her that to love is not only to give but also to take. This is important because we give girls subtle cues about their lives — we teach girls that a large component of their ability to love is their ability to sacrifice their selves. We do not teach this to boys. Teach her that to love she must give of herself emotionally but she must also expect to be given.

— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, p. 56

You Are Lovable.

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

If you believe, as I do, that God is love, and not an old man in the sky hurling lightning bolts at unsuspecting innocents, and that this love is the creative force of the universe — and these are big ifs, I understand that — then you are, by the fact that you are created, loved. You are lovable because God loved you first.

But some people — maybe even most people — don’t see themselves that way. Far too often, we’ve been taught not to see God that way. We’ve been taught the vindictive-old-man version of God, and not the creative-force-of-love version, and so we may never have known that we are lovable. Or perhaps, through the little dramas and big traumas of life, we’ve forgotten it.

When you don’t know that you’re lovable as you are, you need someone to show you.

— Kerry Egan, On Living, p. 150-151.

Wisdom, Not Weakness

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Longing for love is not weakness. It’s wisdom. Numbing our loneliness is a path to a despair that plagues our entire culture. We are not meant to be alone and self-sufficient. Without lives filled with love, we wither inside. Intimacy is oxygen. We don’t need to transcend our hunger for love — we need to honor it.

— Ken Page, Deeper Dating, p. 4-5

Enjoy Now!

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

Do not wait for retirement to enjoy yourself. Do not wait until it is too late to begin to enjoy your partner. Look at them, drink them in, feel them inside you, enjoy every gift they have. Do not wait to say how much you love and appreciate someone. Think of the people who have really meant something to you in your life and contact or call them. Just say thank you from your heart, because appreciation brings enjoyment. Do not wait to take a full breath of the air of life, to take such a bite out of life that when the juices run down your face, everyone will lick their lips. Open yourself and drink in life. It is all being given to you now.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 244

The Spiritual Work of Being Human

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

When the love is imperfect, or a family is destructive, something else can be learned: forgiveness. The spiritual work of being human is learning how to love and how to forgive.

— Kerry Egan, On Living, p. 30