Abiding in Love – a Ramble Post

after you
The other day I was sitting around the campfire with a friend.  Her son was across from her, talking to someone, and she was watching him.   Then she turned to me and said something beautiful.

Look at my son.  Isn’t he wonderful?” she beamed.  “I wish everyone in the whole world could see him as I see him.

I was awestruck at this statement.  Not just because of what it revealed to me about the nature of love.  But also because I knew her son talks about his mother as highly as she does of him.

I can relate to people wanting to see those I love.  There have been, and are, people in my life who I wish others could see the way I do.  Some are misunderstood, and some have weaknesses.  But I see in them beautiful hearts that outshine all that.

It reminds me of something I had written in my journal some time before this.

Oh Lord, all I want is for people to give thought to you. I want them to see you as I see you, as you are, and how wonderful, wonderful I know you to be.”

You know the amazing thing about this yearning – something I didn’t think of until now? The Lord has this same heart for praising you and me!  Just look at the Song of Songs.  It’s like a battle of compliments, each one eagerly outdoing the other in praise.  He wants to exalt us, with Him, as ONE with Him.  There are many great ways of describing Him and us.  Master-Servant, Father/Mother-Son/Daughter, Friends, Brothers, King-Subject, Shepherd-Sheep, etc.  But there is no picture that captures the essence of Oneness quite like the marriage relationship (and even that falls short of what our Oneness with God really means).

This may be why I find myself discerning everything lately that I read, hear, etc. (or even try to write myself), on whether it has a direct line to this deeper relationship.  There’s a song you may have heard, “It’s all about you Jesus, it’s all about you.”  Well – as spiritual as that sounds (and I’m not saying I even know what the rest of the song says), from that statement alone, it isn’t the full picture.  It’s not necessarily connected to a genuine relationship.

Jay Ferris gave this illustration.  “Imagine a young woman going up to her boyfriend (let’s call him Brad), looking deep into his eyes, and saying, “It’s all about you Brad, it’s all about you.”  Does this sound healthy to you?  Is this the kind of relationship that a good man truly wants?

There’s so much coming out of “Christian” sources, I’ve noticed, that is of a certain flavor.  It comes from an unhealthy dependent relationship (out of fear), rather than a healthy inter-dependant relationship (out of love).  It talks about (and gives a semblance of) worship, God’s word, and lifting up Christ.  Now all of it is not bad of course, but how much of it is disconnected from a real, life-giving relationship?  Sometimes if feels like (to me) a marriage counsellor with a desperate fear of losing his or her own spouse lest they lose credibility in business.  They are afraid to really be themselves, whatever that means to them, and in the moment, rest in their spouse’s love. The words this counsellor speak may sound smart, but it is my opinion they will lack a life-giving quality.  Life – His Life – comes out of being in the abiding center of Love’s exchange.

I am rambling here, and appreciate anyone who has come with me this far.  I am encouraged myself in just writing this out, to be more aware today of my abiding presence in Christ, and Him in me, and Him in YOU, and YOU in Him.

We are in this together.


The Kingdom Lifestyle & No More Buying and Selling


“Once when I was in Victoria, I saw a very large home. They told me it was a “bank,” and that the white men place their money there to be taken care of, and that by and by they got it back, with interest. We are Indians, and we have no such bank; but when we have plenty of money or blankets, we give them away to other chiefs and people, and by and by they return them, and our hearts feel good. Our way of giving is our bank.” – Maquinna, Nootka chief, early 19th century.

coin with beast image
I love that phrase, “by and by.”  The rocks cry out, and while the theology as a whole might be lacking — is the theology of those who claim to have it all together leading them to walk by faith when it comes to money, or anything that even resembles what it was like pre-fall when there was none?  Let the tongues speak and shame all professors into confessors, and a better way of living that is a light in the darkness.  Is it vain to pray, “May Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven,” while refusing to walk a heavenly lifestyle here on earth?  Do we pray something we don’t believe we can do anything about?

It reminds me of what Ghandi said concerning the gospel of Christ.  “It’s a wonderful idea.  Somebody should try it sometime.”

Who’s in?

In the economy of God, there is no exchange of money, for money has its beginning in mistrust.  We are asked instead to, “Owe no man anything but to love one another.”   Love is the currency of exchange in the Kingdom of God, and is based on a faith in God – not in people – and is backed by the blood of Christ, which is priceless compared to silver and gold.  He takes care of those who put their trust in Him.

It struck me just today, perhaps for the first time. Jesus allowed his friend Judas to manage the money bag, all the while (I believe) knowing he was stealing from it.  There’s no indication Jesus did anything about it, or confronted him directly.  Judas later killed himself.

Now my heart tells me that I am not of this world.  But my lifestyle is generally dependent on the monetary system for food, healing, communication, transportation, and sometimes even justice.  I usually go after what is owed, and try not to let others take advantage of me. I don’t have all the answers.  But there is a door of freedom open, and a way of living free.  Just walking away from our responsibilities and abandoning everything is not necessarily the answer, for we may not be equipped to function without all the “stuff” yet.  Plus – we may be fighting a battle before it’s time, or even the wrong battle.

Rather, an “exchange” must go on.  The things of this world must be exchanged for the things that are eternal.  Our hearts must be brave, and our lives must follow.  Kingdom living is a risky business.  Actually more accurately, it is a non-business, and it is practical for an earthly way of life, too.

I don’t have a full grasp of what the buying and selling is all about in the book of Revelation that happens among those who are “marked.”  I do know that there is no need for buying and selling in the Kingdom of God!  We freely give of our abundance, and we freely ask for and receive what we need, both without attaching value, or asking for renumeration.

Perhaps soon, this will be more than a fanciful idea for a future “heaven,” but a real practical lifestyle to live out now.  It may happen because things get so rough here that we HAVE to take care of each other this way to survive, or it may happen due to an awakening of our hearts now.

“In time for the world to know.”