True love loves you for who you are.
Any love that loves you for what you may become, or the things you have around you, is not really love. God is not in the business of only loving us if we achieve x, fulfil y, or have z. God loves not those periphery things – but the very heart of us, the depths of who we really are when all is stripped away from us – good and bad.
Henri Nouwen reminds us of desperately running around seeking love and acceptance, asking,
Do you love me?
That is looking for the answer to the wrong question in the wrong place.
The picture that came to me yesterday was of allowing each of the holes of hurt and ‘unlove’ in to be plastered over with a new experience of love. God’s love, God’s acceptance, God peace. God saying, let’s get rid of that, allow my love and the love of those who do love you unconditionally to fill the hole, the crack, up. That may mean nothing to you, make no sense at all – but it does to me!
And so I come again, to the need to allow God to love in a way that it doesn’t matter what others think or say. I am secure in God’s love and that alone is what matters to me. I need not hear the other voices.
Running around seeking love is exhausting – and ultimately frustrating and even more hurtful, because no one will meet that need. Even the very best of human beings have their conditions. No one wants to live their life that way, and no one should.
And so we come to God, because we truly are his beloved. He has no conditions on his love.
I found this video very powerful in terms of God’s love and where it is
We can try, and fail, to find love in others, to make them accept us. We only truly find what we are looking for in the God who sees to the heart of us. It is to him we should look, and from him we will receive. Our true selves are to be found in him, and not in any mirror image of what ‘the world’ is looking for.
If you are asking the question,
To whom do I belong?
the answer is him. Look no further.
you are what I need.
Save me for looking for the wrong thing,
from the wrong people.
Help me not be listening so hard for the affirmation of others.
that I miss the word of your love,
deep within me.
Save me from striving to do the wrong thing,
to get what I think I need.
May I come before you,
allow you to fill the holes and cracks
with the healing balm of your love
and to truly know
the depth of your love
(By the way, the book today’s reading is taken from, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming is very well worth a read)
This year for Advent, some friends and I are using Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen. You’re welcome to join us on this journey. Feel free to comment here, or on Twitter using #adventbookclub
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