15 June 2013

Breeze and Buttons

We are made for love; we don't survive without it. It is a law of nature as compelling as any other we might name. That is true not just of human beings, but it is especially true of us. Love allows us to grow and thrive as nothing else is able to do. It is, in fact, the key to authentic humanity. Today I am feeling personally grateful for all those who have served to help allow me to thrive. I am certainly feeling gratitude to and for the God who holds me securely in his hands as I lay down to rest or who is unfailingly present as I "run about" my daily routine. Despite the fact that I have written about chronic illness recently, I want to be very clear that because of the steadfast love people have given me (and taught me to receive!) it is not illness that defines my life but an overflowing of love which has brought me to abundant life in Christ.

Despite scars brought from fending for himself, Breeze (who is just 10 days old) knows love and the life in him is beginning to allow him to be the frisky young foal we expect. There is abundant life in him waiting to pour out and mature and we see signs of it as he approaches his groomer to play. In the above video (which I thought was adorable and hope you will also like!), from a raft of gifts Britons sent him, Breeze, the orphaned horse selected Buttons, the four foot Teddy bear to cuddle with; he loves to do so especially when his caregivers are out of the ring temporarily.

I recall that there used to be a group of conservative Catholics who used to spell love "luv" in order to denigrate those of us who spoke regularly of God as love-in-act or who proclaimed God's unconditional love, expressed in mercy and forgiveness. Today we can find a similar cynicism in online broadcasts that condemn what they denigratingly (and inaccurately) refer to as "the Church of nice"; they seem to believe Christians actually win peoples' hearts by preaching hellfire, eternal torments, and the loss of their souls. (And who, of those who do not believe in God or find some of the parodies once (or still!) taught, would actually believe in these or find them compelling?) I am disgusted by a lot of this because time and again Jesus told us not to be afraid and reminded us repeatedly of God's faithfulness and love; he never seemed to motivate people with fear --- I believe he was surely an astute enough psychologist to know that doesn't really work. In any case it was not the message he proclaimed with his life and death. It was not the message of parables which invited people to enter the story of God's Kingdom any place they could. Instead he proclaimed this unique Kingdom, the reign of a God whose faithfulness and love (God's very self) was undisputed and would never be ultimately defeated, whose dominion would be established in the face of sinful death in all of its forms and degrees.

We are made for love. We cannot survive much less thrive without it. It is the power in our cosmos that sets all things to right, which brings a justice we can hardly imagine with our puny minds and self-centered hearts. It is a law of nature deeper and more compelling than any other. Some may denigrate it or trivialize it as "luv," label it mere sentimentality or even brand it as effeminate, but even a  young foal like Breeze is aware of it on some level just as he is coming to know the life stirring in himself as a result of it. This is the law written on our hearts and I thank God for it and for those who help it to be fulfilled in us.