Thursday, May 13

re-post: to love and be loved

When we go to a wedding, maybe we’re so moved because we want this new couple to succeed. We intuitively know that their "success" is somehow tied to ours. Their making of love makes the world a better place to live, a place where there is more love for all of us. Maybe this is why we always notice great marriages. When their love is growing, it inspires us. Their life together gives us life.

When "two become one"… it’s a connection and it’s cause for celebration. Of "God. Life. Creativity. Potential. Shared partnership in caring for the world. Strength for weakness, weakness for strength. A new family. The ongoing creation of the world."

The passage ends with ‘the man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.’

No shame or embarrassment.

No apologizing for who they are.

No covering up or pretending.

No masks or secrets.

Total acceptance of each other.

That’s what we want, isn’t it?

We want someone to see us exactly as we are and still love us.

It’s terrifying to let people see who we really are. To see the darkness in our hearts, our bad habits, all of the things we’ve done in the past that we regret. Our biases, our shortcomings, the things we aren’t good at.

Being naked is terrifying.

What would it be like to be with someone who loves you exactly as you are?

If you see me for who I really am, the me that no one else has ever seen, the me that I wouldn’t dare to show anybody else on the planet, the parts of me I’m not sure I want anybody ever to see, if I give you that kind of glimpse into the seat of my being, into my soul, will you still love me like you do now?

It’s our question for each other, and it’s our question for God.

Unconditional, absolute acceptance.

From a lover, from God – it’s what we crave.

This is why a marriage is always about something bigger than itself. It’s two people, in their unconditionally loving embrace of each other, showing each other in flesh and blood what God is like. These two are naked, and they feel no shame.

(Rob Bell, Sex God)

This, to me, is truly beautiful. To give yourself fully to another, to reveal all of who you are, to show yourself completely to another, and to be met with love. Vulnerability requires unconditional love. And how beautiful are two people loving each other for who they are, through the good, the bad, the better, the worse, the beautiful, the ugly, the exciting, the mundane?

There is an empowerment that comes from knowing we are accepted. When we know we are loved for who we are, we feel free to be who we truly are. Think about how much potential that holds. When we know we are loved no matter what with another being, we have established a relationship where we can be us. And that's just the start. I think this awareness inspires us to be the "best" us; the new creation we are in God.
I’m finding it hard to put all of this into words because when I think about it, I have more of a feeling than words. I feel joy and excitement and anticipation and hope at what a life lived in and giving of unconditional love looks like. 

Unconditional love is infectious love. Being loved makes you want to love others. It's contagious. And the true beauty is that love is a reflection of God. It points directly to the One who is unconditional love. He is the source; the only way that we can live a life of love.

Let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God [. . .] God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us. (1 John 4:7,16-17)

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