“There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
I cannot find in my own
And He keeps His fire burning
To melt this heart of stone
Keeps me aching with a yearning
Keeps me glad to have been caught
In the reckless raging fury
That they call the love of God
Now I’ve seen no band of angels
But I’ve heard the soldiers’ songs
Love hangs over them like a banner
Love within them leads them on
To the battle on the journey
And it’s never gonna stop
Ever widening their mercies
And the fury of His love
Oh the love of God
And oh the love of God
The love of God
Joy and sorrow are this ocean
And in their every ebb and flow
Now the Lord a door has opened
That all Hell could never close
Here I’m tested and made worthy
Tossed about but lifted up
In the reckless raging fury
That they call the love of God”
——–Rich Mullins, ‘The Love of God’
I have been talking about trusting God a lot lately, mostly because it’s the problem that He’s currently addressing in my life. (On a side note, it’s gotten so bad that when I say the words, “God just showed me something,” my roommate cringes and says, “Oh dear.”) Today I thought I would talk about something else uncomfortable, something that I have been dancing around but avoiding.
Love is scary.
Now, there are two ways (in my experience) in which people look at this statement. First, you look at this and say, “Oh. She has issues with trust. That makes sense.” and write off the rest of this post.
I sincerely hope you have not done that.
Second, you look at this and say, “What in the world is she talking about? Love is the most comforting and secure thing there is.” If you did that, I have some Grammar Guerillas that would like to talk to you. In addition, I think we are talking about two different things.
I’m still not sure what you’re talking about, though.
Love, in my experience, is never comfortable. I first dealt with it before I can actually remember, but my mother assures me I found some acts of love quite unpleasant. My first memory of love involves me hurting my sister, and my parents teaching me to ask forgiveness.
I did not like that lesson.
As I grew older, I was very self-centered. Thus, I perceived many things that were the product of love as slights against myself. I was the center of my own little universe, and I ruled it (at least in my own mind) as a very capable and correct dictator. This period was marked by love that was uncomfortable and even painful at times. I would avoid devotional books or anything that would challenge me spiritually, because I knew that I could not continue the way I was going. So I shunned anything that would help me grow. (I may be many things, but one thing that I have always had trouble with is deceiving myself. This may or may not make me a worse liar to everyone else. Make what you will of it.) I’m sure it was a great trial to my parents. But I ‘grew out of it.’
Or so it appeared.
In reality, I was just as self-centered as ever. I had just learned better how to hide it. Many events occured, some mostly from without and a few from within, convinced me that I needed to be a better person in order to earn acceptance. But not love. I always felt sure that I was loved by my parents and God, and other select people. But I craved acceptance and vindification. Because the world still revolved around me.
To be continued.