If Love...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

If Love should count you worthy, and should deign
One day to seek your door and be your guest,
Pause! Ere you draw the bolt and bid Him rest,
If in your old content you would remain.
For not alone He enters: in his train
Are angels of the mists, the lonely quest
Dreams of the unfulfilled and unpossessed,
And sorrow, and Life's immemorial pain.
He wakes desires you may never forget,
He shows you stars you never saw before,
He makes you share with him forevermore,
The burden of the world's divine regret.
How wise were you to open not!-and yet,
How poor if you should turn Him from the door.

~Sidney Royse Lysaght


The poem above is talking about God's love, but it also applies to a more personal struggle of mine, accepting love from people. People have told me that I have a huge capacity to love others, but the further I progress into my relationship with Pete, the more I find that I don't have any idea how to accept the love of anyone.

Logic dictates that this is a mere reaction to wounds received by those that I believed loved me before, but there's another element that won't allow me to blame others entirely for this struggle. That is the element of my pride.

I found something last weekend that got me started to thinking--have I focused so much on my desire not to be a burden or a high maintenance friend that I've become so self-sufficient and independent that I can't simply accept help when it is offered? I'm so used to taking care of my own needs (under the guise of relying completely on God) that I don't think to ask others for help, and when someone else lays their life down for me, I don't notice it because I'm so busy being strong.

There is another poem about God's love someone gave me my freshman year that impacted me similarly.

In my locked rooms how often I have seen You
Standing before me, and with pierced hands
Reaching to me, and asking ever gently,
"Why do you weep? Is it for Me you seek?"
And though I doubted, and had locked my doors,
Lest that I feared should overwhelm me still,
And opened not unto my very Savior,
Yet still You came, and spoke, and loved, and transformed me.

~Sarah Lewis

I'm learning something about God's love, and God's love lived out in His people. It is not something that I ask for. It is not something that I can effect. It is not something I can earn, or program or figure out.

It is a gift, freely given in the person of Jesus Christ. It is a gift, freely given through the power of Jesus Christ in our lives. But the accepting of it--now that is the difficult part. Because I have done nothing to deserve it, it seems wrong to embrace it, yet we love Him because He first loved us.

The reason that I am marrying Pete, the reason that I love him, is because he loved me first. That seems an awfully selfish reason to want to love someone, doesn't it? And yet, the more vulnerable he allows himself to be with me, the more that he opens his heart and his life to me, the more I see him loving me--asking me to love him in return, but never demanding. And I am faced with a choice not unlike the choice I am faced with when I am confronted with God's love, for did He not do the same for me that Pete does?

I can continue on my own path, seeing to my own needs, trying to be strong and independent as I have had to be... and keep my pride very nicely intact. Or I can learn what it is to *be* loved, and open myself to the wounds it might cause me in listening or setting myself aside for someone else... and learn what it means to be meek and humble in heart. I can choose to sit at someone's feet and listen to them open their heart (which even to me is a form of love), and then return that openness with vulnerability of my own.

I made a commitment when I was younger that I would never marry anyone with whom I could not be the same person as I am with God. That means that my relationship with Pete has opened me to a much deeper vulnerability than I have ever faced. It means that by my own commitment I don't have the right to hold my pride before him. It means that sometimes I have to tell him when I'm being selfish, or be honest about my heart motives. It means that I have to tell him "I don't know" sometimes when I just want to make it all better. It also means that I need to be honest with him when I'm not walking as closely with God as I ought to.

I'm not good at that. I hope I'm learning. And I hope that God will continue to teach me what it means to let others bear my burdens sometimes, instead of trying to have it all together all the time so *I* can be strong enough to love.

Because I think that sometimes, accepting love is love too.


Oglethorpe and Co. said...

Hey, Kell, did ya know that poem's on my profile? :)
the lil' sissy, Korr

Kelly said...

That's where I got it, Kerynne... :-D It's a good one.

Angel said...

Ah Kelly, how much you have to learn and yet how much you have learned already! :) I am really loving "watching" (albeit from a distance) this relationship of yours and Pete's. It's so beautiful to see where it's taking you and your heart.

We need to catch up on the phone sometime; I'll be driving all day tomorrow (road trip) so if you want to call my cell, I'll be free. :) Love you!

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