I sense in my heart a subtle yearning for something more. I’m sure that something is love. A deeper experience of love. A fresh reminder of what love is. To be able to taste and know and see that beauty which is hidden by my tunnel-visioned eyes and cynical heart. Only love can do that.
Pain can bring about so many emotions. Sadness. Confusion. Anger. These are not wrong. They are right. If we let ourselves feel them, sit in them, move through them…there is something even sweet in that. To be in touch with reality. To look inside of ourselves, our hearts, and to see what is going on, to recognize it, and to allow ourselves to be.
That is beautiful.
But there is a point where pain and the emotions that come with it can take over and become something that is not beautiful. When the anger seems too big to be moved through…to find healing. When hopelessness sets in. When anger takes up long-term residence in the heart. Anger refusing to be transformed. Depression may eventually set in.
This heart grows cold. Heavy. Hard. Cynical toward itself, the world, others…
This is what I sense in my own heart lately. And my tendency is to be harsh with myself for holding onto anger for so long..for allowing it to bring it’s bitter chill into my heart. But then again…maybe this needs to happen. And I imagine this is not the last time. Actually, I’m sure it’s not. So maybe this is a part of life. Of riding the waves.
And then grace whispers, “you’re okay…just take my hand…this stirring in your heart…I’m doing that…don’t rush it…and I will begin to take you to places you’ve never been…if you allow me to, in my timing, my way.”
But much of my anger and frustration do come from a heart that desires justice. Justice for those who are being oppressed. Those oppressed by religion. Those who know not their own oppression. I trust that this is good. This passion has been given to me. It is a gift. A pure gift. A gift of love, given by Love, in love, for love. I want to embrace it. I want it to grow and be used and released…
… But for love. It was always meant for love. Always. Love is what we were made for. Did you know? “Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that,” cried Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was right. Love. And when my heart and my desires and my passion grow into something other than love…when the overflow is not love… in love, out of love, and for love… well then it is all empty, nothing more than clanging symbols. It is destructive. Not only to the rest of the world, but to myself. I can feel it.
I cannot remove the anger and frustration, but grace wants to move into those parts of me that have grown cold and dead and begin to restore…
This is not a replacement of the heart. NO, this is a beautiful transformation…a renewal of what is already there. Only grace can do that. I want to let her. Because when we are changed by grace…that is when we may begin to touch the world with real gentleness and love. With our presence. With our voices. With our passions and our fights and our cries and our ACTIONS against injustice…in the unique ways that we were created to do so…EACH ONE OF US. Because love is what this broken and hurting world needs. I thought I knew, but I forgot..I forget…love is what I need. The oppressors…the oppressed all need love.
LOVE, please touch this cold heart of mine.
I think I’ll camp out here for now…because holy smokes…
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, not matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for other than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleausre in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
but keeps going to the end.
Love never dies.
(1 Corinthians 13:1-10, The Msg.)