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.