“…that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear.” Luke 1:74
You’d think I would have put this heart attack thing behind me by now. After all, that would be the strong thing to do. It feels so weak to have to rest – to have to submit to the process of healing – to admit that I’m still going through it. I’m impatient to be there. I almost was There. Now I’m left trying to figure out my new Here. Something changed inside of me, and it was more change then a little stent could produce. I thought writing about it would help me put the whole thing to rest. But instead, if anything, it put it more front and center. It’s a terrible itch – trying to understand – and it only grows. I know it was for more than whimsy that God saved me. His purpose though eludes me. I try to focus. I am certainly seeing things differently. But strangely everything seems murkier. Or I guess I am seeing more clearly, more honestly, what a murky world I have been living in, and lying to myself about.
What an amazing capacity we have, to live in denial.
I did not imagine – it was not a part of my reality – that so many people would react with so much love and kindness to my heart attack. I did not consider that there was a place for me in so many hearts. The silly thing is – all those people already had a place in my heart – it’s just the reciprocation that I did not imagine. It really did shock me.
People and crowds have always been difficult. I’ve learned to fake it on the outside – but inside I’m cringing. I can see that this needs to change. During church on Sunday I was thinking about all you lovely people surrounding me, and I thought: I don’t want to be afraid anymore – I want to be able to be real – whatever that turns out to be. Because living in fear drains me, and robs me of being filled with love. And I need to be filled with love. And all you people want to fill me with love. Why have I been running away from that? Just scared I guess. Not that I’m wrong to be scared. It’s a fearful thing to open your heart to love. You will definitely get hurt if you do. But I guess that’s just a part of living for Christ. Being open to the pain that giving and receiving love brings. Trusting Him to walk you through any devastation. Becoming more fearless as you walk with Him, through the hard and the good places.
I guess I must walk around looking down all of the time. It’s so wonderful to look up. It seems so obvious when I do look up – so obvious that God is real, and He loves me, and He’s coming back. So obvious that He’s close, and has all our lives well in hand. It’s as obvious as tomorrow – when love is the light of dawn.
I’ve been thinking about why there are so few words in the English language for love. They say it’s true that the Eskimos have more than 50 words for snow, like – “aqilokoq” for “softly falling snow”. And why wouldn’t they. It’s such an important part of their lives. It’s the substance they interact most with. You’d think it would be the same for all of us when it comes to love. Isn’t our whole existence really all about love? Isn’t love the very fabric we live and move and have our being in? And doesn’t that fabric spread out infinitely with infinite variations? I think only having one word for such a complex, amazing and essential thing as love really reveals the fear we have for it. We want to contain the infinite in a word because we are afraid of it. We want to control it. We want to set boundaries around it and only interact with it as we see fit. It’s our way of incapacitating it. Keeping love from having crazy, free reign in our lives. It’s all part of our plan to keep God at bay.
It’s like pretending that our own home town is the only town in the whole world. That you’d fall off the edge of the earth if you venture beyond it’s boundaries. So of course we run away in fear when God calls us to go with Him. When He calls us to walk with Him and explore the breadth and length and height and depth, of His love.
But consider all that we miss out on by running from God. All the blessings we ignore. I think about all the times He called me and I turned away - and all He wanted was just to spend time with me – because He loves me and loves my company. It pierces like falling through the ice – what I have done to hurt Him – and I’m left frantically grasping for some penance to perform to make up for it. I want to fix it – fix what I’ve done wrong. But it’s nothing I can undo. Although there is plenty that I can do. I can apologize, receive His forgiveness, and alter my course forever – fearlessly towards Him. And I can abandon the past, leave it to Him to redeem, and leave all those choking tears of regret for Heaven, where He will wipe them all away.
We run away from God – towards ourselves and towards the world. We run away, but His love pulls us back – because His love is strong – and kind of like a rubber band.
My elastic love to all of you!