it’s a mellow saturday morning and i’m taking a few moments to just “be” at a neighborhood coffee shop, reading the paper and listening to the comforting sounds as the “usuals” make their way through ordering their “usual”.
picking up a paper left by another visitor i read through an article titled, “early lessons in love provided foundation.” written by a local guy here in austin, bob lively reflects on his early days at seminary when he was enduring several hours of “rapid fire questions from a gathering of self important, tall steeple preachers from dallas.” one of the questions posed early on was, “‘who is God?’ i thought before uttering, ‘sir, scripture teaches: God is love.’ i anticipated his next questoin, which of course, was ‘so what exactly is love?’ realizing that my future now hung precariously on my response, i said, ‘love is always a mystery because love invariably originates with God, who is the ultimate mystery of all reality, and this means that love only flows through us, if we so allow it. but, we can always impede love by refusing to allow it to pervade our souls, warm our hearts and ultimately inform every decision.’
the man stood, signaling his impatience with what he probably saw as the mindless drivel of a young fool. staring at me over his bifocals, he asked, ‘is there anything else?’ ‘yes,’ i answered, now strangely emboldened: ‘love is not a doctrine nor is it an emotion.’
‘so what is it?’ the cleric demanded. and i answered, ‘it’s without exception the experience of God, most often, but not always mediated imperfectly through our fellow human beings.'”
these words from ol’ bob could not have hit me at a more perfect time. love is strong, but also such a fragile way of living because it leaves you vulnerable and open to hurt, even bleed as you open yourself to the possibility of love from others. life is full of folks like this “self-important, tall steeple preacher” who peering over their bifocals find it hard to open themselves to the simple beauty of Gods mysterious love. like the simple love of a child love spontaneously gives of itself bubbling over from the heart and at the same time craving the simple art of arms reaching out to hold us.
so here’s to a mellow saturday morning of resting in the mysteries of love and boldly…spontaneously allowing Gods love to move through us into the lives of those around us.