Friday, January 16, 2009
Loving One Another
From the first time we wept as infants left alone by our mothers, we began learning that no one can be happy without love. By ourselves we are helpless, threatened, anxious, and fragile as cut flowers. Without our roots deep in the common soil, touching the roots of others, we dry up and wither. Only by touching another do we know where we leave off and the mystery of the other begins; only by love can we penetrate that mystery. As babies raised without the touch of love pine and die, so do adults if they separate themselves from those who would love them and be loved by them.
The energy of God meets itself coming and going when two of God's children meet heart to heart, eye to eye, loving and being loved. That love that moved the sun and other stars precipitated the Word, Jesus Christ. He was enfleshed as man so that we could by knowing and loving Him be gathered up in the arms of God the Spirit, out of the swaddling clothes of our flesh.
God wants to give Himself to us in every possible way: first through Jesus, who loved and touched His people with human heart, human hands; then through the Holy Spirit, who knits us all into one seamless cloth that wraps the world; and finally through the hands of another human being, laid on us in love, as ours are laid on that other person. When we open ourselves to this other person, we open ourselves to God and God can touch us, like the sun touching the heart of an unfurled flower. Closed, we can't be reached. But a life spent loving is a life spent open. To reach out and receive, we must open our hands; to be loved, we much first love. The wife or husband [or friend] next to you is more than your spouse [or buddy]. He or she is your path to God. In the face of a wife laboring in birth or a husband crushed at the loss of his job, you see the face of God, open to your love, wanting you to give it.
Deeper, deeper you go, till you touch the place in the other where God is, dropping your own veils of ego, self-defense, falseness as you go, until you both stand before each other and God naked as newborn babies. At this moment when you see God in each other, you see. . . the image of Christ as He might have looked walking the earth. As the veils fall, we see God not through a glass darkly, but face to face in the light of love, in the one through whom God sees and touches us. And each moment in which we give and take love, we touch God.
Without God, we cannot love; without the other, we cannot show our love. . . In our love for others, we express the link between flesh and spirit, as God expressed it in the Incarnation. Like God, we are an intimate community of love, pouring ourselves out so that we can fill others and be filled.
Growing up means 'growing out,' dropping our walls and opening in selfless love to another. We become a two-way channel through which the uncreated energies of God flow. The more love we give, the more love grows in the place we have planted it.
Love has everything to do with the ordinary events of daily living, since the giving of all we are and the receiving back of all we can be happens in the workshop, the nursery, the office. When we discover the energies of God in each other, we pour those energies into all we do, reconciling the world to the Father.
True love - God's love - is to see others as God sees, knows, and touches them. To love truly is to see with the eyes of God, to go beneath the skin and plunge straight to the heart, where the other shows him or herself to be as unique as if alone in the world, the sparrow whose fall God notices, the lamb for whom Jesus died. True love is caring for the other, mindful only of the other's good. It is being quick to hear the other's need, to serve the other's growth toward his or her true self and carrying the other into deeper touch with God. The prayer of Jesus before he underwent death was that we would be ONE as He and the Father are one (John 17:21-23). It happens as we love one another.
--Excerpted from Loving the Christ in You.