If self-giving love is at the heart of the universe–if a person is there, not a mathematical equation or an abstract mix of good and evil–then we have a solid starting block from which to trust. If God is good–so good that He can creatively capitalize on evil and not withdraw from it as He rolls up His sleeves and receives the scars of it for us and with us–then we can rest. We can be sheep among wolves.
If God is the essence of self-giving love, then all things are servants to this core. In all things, no matter how fragmented, there is, at God’s expense, a communication, a giving, an invitation: “This is how much I love you. Come walk with me.” Food, fun, the forest, the stars, and the passing school of dolphins all affirm one thing: you are loved by the One who is good to the unkind and the unthankful.
This liberates me from making my life one long struggle of getting everything under my control. It liberates me from having my way (for the One who loves me selflessly is aware of my heart and my needs). It frees me from seeing the world at its surface: a dangerous network of power and control, where people and invisible powers vie for pre-eminence. It means I no longer need to employ the traditional tools for “force and fraud” to evade my fears and acquire my cravings. I can rest.
And rest is the format, the arena, for a new thing. Authentic love. Rest is the place where this communication becomes personal: the self-giving love that is at the heart of all things is a Person who loves me. And the more I realize that He loves me (even in the midst of my shrapnel-riddled circumstances), the more my heart is awakened to love in return. And I grow in that love.
Such love disarms as much as it armors. I am released from the need to be clever. I am empowered with the grace to be neither intimidated nor infatuated with the world, but rather, I can go into it as a servant to tend its wounds and proclaim the good news of the Wounded One sent to redeem it. The One whose name is Love.
Tagged as: love, rest, trust