Sunday, July 20, 2008


i've been thinking lately.
i don't think there is anything that can eclipse love
this force to be reckoned with
but who can reckon with, work out, calculate, think, estimate, or to take it into account?
the whole world runs on love
not gasoline
not money
not commodities. .

i think love wrecks you in the best possible way
wrecks your ego and your selfishness
wrecks your plans
wrecks you for settling for substitutes
substitution leaves a trail of broken souls
its true.
we wrestle with love
and we mistreat and misname love
and we shame love
and we blame love

love is more than we understand
more than we can process with grey matter
more than us
and our travails and our pursuits.
more than our fairy tale notions of what it feels like
looks like, acts like
and more than the roles we assign ourselves in the grand story
there are so many things that its not
and only one that it is . . .

love is bigger than our attempts to contain it
as if we could stop the tides
or embrace the sun.
why do we think we can harness love and
assign it, dispense it like a controlled substance?
to those we deem deserving. . .
like we can handle purity with our filthy paws
and our grimy hearts and not understand that this isn't how love is

love is not a thing to had
love is a being, love is God.
i believe in love because i believe in him.
belief, disbelief? our certainty either way
doesn't change that love is him. . he is it
and he gives it and we take it
and don't see him in the gift
and we manhandle it and pass it around
but we don't give it back to him
and love suffers
we suffer,
cut off from the source
love deteriorates and we don't realize it
or do we?
i think we do.

i live with this longing to know love
to know God
i've squelched this yearning at times on purpose, or simply set it aside
it was like i was wearing blinders or my heart was frozen
where was he? where was i?
nothing made sense.

when i fell in love with my husband, i thought "this is real love" and it really is. but i used to feel like i was living the love songs, the chick flicks, the princess stories. . and i ate it all up and wanted more.
i had tacked this foolish and incomplete notion of love onto my heart
and wondered why it kept falling off and getting all dirty and trampled whenever i felt let down or unappreciated, or when grief or hardship came along
i soon realized that i didn't really have a clue what love was

love is not about gathering beautiful feelings or contentment or warm fuzzies into myself
love is pouring myself out. . not only to those who i know and hold in my heart,
but especially to those i know and don't hold dear. .
and this pains and smarts to do this and it works against my inclinations
i don't really like this
but this is love too

love comes from its source
there is no love apart from him
i have struggled to have this make sense sometimes,
so much talk of love, love, love, love all the time, everywhere, but
what is it really???? certainly not the conditional variety we seem to prefer.
certainly not the insulated, cozy coccoon in which to settle and enjoy, cherishing our tightly-woven relational circles
love is being angry with injustice
love is hurting for those who feel pain
love is seeing into people and appreciating their worth

what would this planet be like if all love was sucked out of the population?
what would happen?
what would emerge to fill the huge vacuum?

i'm not sure why its easy to be blithe,
accustomed to
feeling entitled to love?
i've seldom thought so much about it
but as i do lately, i lose my footing and fall out of the notion(s) of what i thought it was and sink into the reality of who love really is
and here i find myself wanting to let go of false and take in true

Monday, July 07, 2008

intimate and interactive

rethinking 'intimate' is on my mind lately
not because i'm averse to the commonly held notion of intimacy
not that its wrong
intimate is good. . but its more than
we think it is.
I want to expand that concept to be
i want to push out that 'personal space' to make some room
i don't want to shrink from
being close

i want to reorder my thoughts, my heart
i want to be new
with old wisdom
that leads me
to the place of intimacy
like its meant to be
not how its always been perceived or practiced

i think 'intimacy' is misunderstood, even misrepresented.
people can be intimate, close, even adoring
but always there will be
some sort of division
some sort of withholding
no matter how 'big' we say we love
there is always a smallness to it
and a taint of self.
the things love requires,
we don't have the stomach for.
we can warm up to the perverse interpretations
we give those two words
that just comes naturally.
but i'm thinking of the deeper, spiritual surrender and submission
of coming to know how to
let go
of self
and be given over to the one,
and there is only one and no other,
who knew your name before your parents conceived you
who saw your forming body
who gave you unique fingerprints
who set your heart muscle into life-giving rhythm
who numbered the hairs on your head
who remembers every moment you don't
who knows the pre-formed words in your mind before they are spoken
who knows all that lives within even the darkest recesses of your heart
and who doesn't push back and turn his head?

what lovers' kiss could be more intimate
than God breathing life into your unseeable and untouchable inner self?
can there be more intimate connection than being loved by someone without reservation
or cut off point?
this is what i want
nothing else

human intimacy waxes and wanes
it runs hot and cold
its incomplete,
lacking, even in its glory,
for it often is glorious --
it blanches and pales
when held up to the light of Him

so leery of letting down our guard
people don't like to be vulnerable
harm comes to the weak
and weakness can feel shameful to us

Intimacy brings us to
But we can appear vulnerable and not be.
sometimes we want to hide from being intimate
i guess its the risk
it can be too costly.

We may play games with each other,
but how can we escape intimacy
from the one who can't be played?
how can we lie to one who can't be duped?
even the illusion
of trying is pointless
that's life without true intimacy.. .
the illusion of pointlessly trying to evade and
run away from the kind of intimacy we crave
yet fear.
the position of
having no position, no defense --
that's real intimacy.
being viewed
in the searchlight of God
with no leg to stand on,
no excuse
flattened in surrender
knowing you deserve the worst
and being embraced

to be intimate is to choose to be.
choose the degree.
choose the intensity.
choose illusion or truth
but choose.

If intimacy was your home
who would be left on the step and who would be let in?
and how 'in' are they allowed?
are there bars on the windows?
a sawed off hockey stick in the sliding door?
dead bolts?
alarm system?