Thursday, February 21, 2008

Abi's Lent: Day 16

The Abbess is fighting off whatever is going around (our youngest succumbed last night) ... but did manage to read chapter 11 of The Jesus Creed today. It was about John's story -- from brash young follower to seasoned Apostle of Love.

John's story is, well, Everyman's story! (Sonja, you can read that Everywoman's story. ;^) )

The timing of this particular story is, well, timely. We read of a young John who was full of spit and fire -- heady with power, yet not quite understanding that the power was from and for love ... of God and others. He was still a bit stuck in the us and them state that the Jews had embraced as the Chosen People. And as his fathers before him, he forgot the purpose for the privilege. Sigh.

Today I struggle with loving those who think they don't need my love. Or perhaps they just want to use me for their ends and discard me when I become inconvenient. Being one called to speak the truth in love, I need to call attention to their actions because they transgress love. They are not loving me like they expect me to love them.

I struggle with being slightly offended -- disappointed is a better word, really. Yet I must respond and not just react ... because I am indeed concerned with their best interest being served, even if they are not consciously concerned with mine. But love is something that frequently moves under our radar ... and can take time and distance to be recognized.

Scot speaks of Smedes again and quotes from his last book, My God and I. I have a whole shelf of books my Smedes. I call him the pastor of the heart. This is what transparency looks and sounds and feels like. Someone who asks the real questions his heart is asking.

The power to love, as John found out, does indeed come from being next to Jesus, and thereby learning the truth of what Papa's love is like.

Next to Jesus; leaning on Papa.

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