What does it all mean…this Christian life we enter?
Each one of us could answer that and our answers might sound or look very different. The answers would be true for us, but sometimes the “big story” is the one we don’t mention.
Love came and found us and pursued us from wherever we were and wouldn’t walk away or let go until we accepted Him. That’s the “big story…the big picture”.
We really could hardly believe that it was possible or true. How could anyone love us after all we had done, after all we had become? When it finally broke through our resistance, we couldn’t imagine what would be next or how everything before could all be erased.
As we started our new walk, we still messed up a lot more often than we thought we should and old voices whispered condemnation and guilt. But He was patient and gentle with us. He reminded us that He was changing our hearts, putting His light, His truth, and His love within us even if we couldn’t see it yet and no one else believed in us.
If we were lucky someone else who had been walking this path a bit longer than we did came along beside us and loved us for Him. Some of us didn’t have that privilege and the walk was tough for a long time. There were times we stumbled and did not want to get back up again. We met others who Love had pursued and won, but sometimes they didn’t look like Him or sound like Him. He accepted us where we were, but sometimes they focused on what we weren’t and how we didn’t fit in.
But Love still pursued us without tiring, without giving up.
When we were stronger we wanted to find ways to thank Love. What could we possibly give or offer? In time, we learned that the best way to thank Love was to not forget how He had pursued us, accepted us, and never shamed us or gave up on us.
In the movie “A River Runs Through It”, the narrator makes a significant statement:
“We can love completely without complete understanding.”
How can that be? How can I know how to love you if my life was and is so different than yours?
I really don’t know what to tell you. But you see, that’s where we miss it. We aren’t supposed to tell you anything so much as we are to simply let Him live and love through us. I don’t need to understand you. I just need to have Him take the lead. I need Love to so permeate my own heart that it just happens even when I don’t know how, even if you are different than I am, even if I think you are a mess. That’s how I thank Him. That’s how you thank Him.
After we’ve walked with Him for a while, we can get so comfortable around others whom we presume are like us that we miss the reason we are here. We forget that Life lives in us and unless we allow that breath of God to exhale gently on others, it loses its purpose. He can do this if we let Him, if we don’t decide it is too difficult or “you” are too difficult.
We forget we were difficult too.
We don’t have to have the answers to all your questions. After all, they’re your questions. (We could barely answer our own.) We just need to be there and help you find someone who can answer your questions. We need to see the possible that you can’t see yet. We need to see “treasure in an earthen vessel”.
Will we let Love lead? Will we set aside the jargon and language that interrupts the flow of Love through us?
No, its’ not easy. Often men and women try to kill Love. Once they thought they had succeeded, but then they discovered Love was stronger than hate, stronger than death, and Love rose up and lived. Then Love multiplied in the most unusual way. It multiplied in you and me or at least it was supposed to so long as we didn’t forget.
We can love completely without complete understanding because we know what that feels like. It happened to us.
Have we forgotten?
*Photos (except the final one) all courtesy of my friend, Muriel, from Maine. The final photo is my own from Vermont.