Recently, I made a mistake.
A big one.
Those are enough details for now, but it left me thinking about love and forgiveness.
Now, my wife is not perfect, but repeatedly I’ve been blown away, overwhelmed, by her ability to forgive and love me in spite of my faults. She is a fierce lover, and when she is loyal, she is loyal.
It’s a withering love. And it’s difficult to stand.
In the midst of this, I realized that there is something inside of me that absolutely wants to flee this kind of love. I have a hunch I’m not the only one. I have a theory that this condition is more human than I’d like to admit.
What is it inside of us that makes us flee this kind of acceptance?
It’s obviously similar to the love that Christ has for us/me. To look into the face of a love that is totally accepting and forgiving is excruciating sometimes. We want to hide and run because of all the bad that we have done, but there is something there that says we must stand in it and take it, like a fierce rainstorm.
That’s what love is. That’s what love can be… A hurricane.
Love him, or hate him, Saint Paul must have learned to stand in that hurricane. Here was a man who had people—innocent people—killed, and then later sought those people out in community, as one of them. Moreover, before that he had to stand in the face of Jesus and accept that love.
He could stand in the face of that storm. He was no longer a man with blood on his hands, with the lives of men, women, and children (!) on his conscience. He was simply a man who was now “In Christ”, and was inviting others to experience this same storm.
I know I’m not naturally wired for it. It makes me want to hide, to go numb, to retreat.
I guess I’m TRYING to learn to withstand it, but it is difficult.
Musically speaking, not that it is anything like this:
But maybe, it’s a bit like this: