Day 5: Belovedness.
Henri, Come Home:
There are two realities to which you must cling. First, God has promised that you will receive the love you have been searching for. And second, God is faithful to that promise.
So stop wandering around. Instead, come home and trust that God will bring you what you need. Your whole life you have been running about, seeking the love you desire. Now it is time to end that search. Trust that God will give you that all-fulfilling love and will give it in a human way. Before you die, God will offer you the deepest satisfaction you can desire. Just stop running and start trusting and receiving.
Home is where you are truly safe. It is where you can receive what you desire. You need human hands to hold you there so you don’t run away again. But when you come home and stay home, you will find the love that will bring rest to your heart.
Henri, Understand the Limitations of Others:
You keep listening to those who seem to reject you. But they never speak about you. They speak about their own limitations. They confess their poverty in the face of your needs and desires. They simply ask for your compassion. They do not say that you are bad, ugly, or despicable. They say only that you are asking for something they cannot give and that they need to get some distance from you to survive emotionally. The sadness is that you perceive their necessary withdrawal as a rejection of you instead of as a call to return home and discover there your true belovedness.
I am a student of Christian theology, of urban ministry, of peacemaking and conflict studies.
I am good at discovering the belovedness in every single human being, every person who has been created in the image of God and been gifted with a humanity worth celebrating and honoring.
I believe every human heart is worth immensely more than we can imagine, always underrated and overwhelming.
Every human being is worth being beloved beyond measure.
Every human being already is beloved beyond measure, by sheer virtue of being nestled in the creating and sustaining heart of God.
So why does it become so difficult to believe this of myself?
Why do I struggle to feel beloved?
Why do I put the proof of this belovedness in how successful I am, or how likable I am, or how men feel about me?
Why do I feel, in this relational withdrawal that Nouwen speaks of, a harsh and swift negation of my belovedness – not a call to return home, but a violent casting aside of the whole of my identity, not enough worth/goodness/interest/attractiveness to maintain relationship with?
What if I chose to live life as if I knew I was this beloved?
As if I felt it?
What kind of confidence would arise from a foundation of this love?
What kind of grace would I be able to share with others who fall short of providing me with this love?
What kind of paradigm shift would it be to not expect that of them???
I am exhausted from the search, the wandering, the sojourning for a resting place to feel okay.
I begin to nest as I wander, a gypsy who breathes the excitement of travel but secretly longs for rootedness –
I make my home in one specific identity, in one specific vocation, in one specific community, in one specific person, in one specific image of who I wish I could effortlessly craft myself into being.
To come home means to stop creating artificial homes wherever I wander, stop the packing and unpacking and rearranging of knick-knacks on the shelf, before I suddenly am evicted once again.
God, make it known where that place is – to be home, and beloved, and never in fear of rejection.
There will come a time, you’ll see / With no more tears / Where love will not break your heart / But dismiss your fears / Get over your hill and see / What you find there / With grace in your heart / And flowers in your hair
… Mumford and Sons