I make “love” just another insulator


For to be loved is to be known, and to be known is to be loved – or why bother with either?

And both require vulnerability.  My vulnerability. Your vulnerability. Our vulnerability.

How vulnerable are you?

When it comes to fellowship I think we worry too much. Removing my mask, becoming vulnerable, being real, being me, no safety, no hiding (behind my own skin) … all that panic attack stuff.

I spent three hours in fellowship last night. We know little more about each other’s personal life, personal foibles, personal history, personal mistakes, personal embarrassments than we did before. But we do know we can trust each other. We do know that each has a living loving relationship with a Loving Father who loves us both. We do know that when we don’t understand each other it is “okay”. We do know we agree on so much of this “God stuff” and “relationship stuff” and “living with God within stuff” – we found that we just use different words, different imagery, different life-experiences to describe that. And we used to trip over that in conversation.  Now we have parked that in “used to”.

While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee invited him to dine with him; so he went in and took his place at the table. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not first wash before dinner. Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you.” Luke 11:37-41

According to Luke … Jesus arrived …sat down …insulted His host(s) … and moved on.  If it was simply that – then Jesus left very hungry because it was a very quick visit.

I wonder …

Just as I have described three hours of fellowship (with learning) in one short paragraph – I wonder if Luke picks out just the learning.  I wonder if Jesus actually managed to squeeze in some food, some fellowship, some vulnerability, and then …

Which makes me wonder if we often apply “Bible life” as “my Christian life”:

Last night we took our place at the table. The staff heard us talking about God and muttered to themselves that we had not prayed before eating the meal they brought us. Then we said to them, “Now you sinners see only religious ritual and think yourself godly, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not Jesus who died for us all, also free us from such ritual? So be free from ritual, and you will walk closer to Him as well.” Righteous indignation (on behalf of God).

Because if we do not look for love in the bible, see love in the bible, see love in each other, share love with each other – will we ever “know and be known”?  If we “love” our Loving Father – but no one else (not even ourselves) … is that not “sterile love” – another label we hide behind – distancing ourselves from ourselves (and each other and God)?

Love: God AND yourself AS your neighbour …

There is no hierarchy there. But there is vulnerability of the kind we fear.

We do not feel safe.  So we hide.  We mask-up.  We say words.  We trip over each other.  We judge each other. In the absence of being vulnerable I fall back on rules, labels, laws, and ritual – I need someone to tell me I am doing it right.  I need “stuff” between me and me – and me and God – and me and you.

I adopt “sterile love” as “love”.  I make “love” just another insulator.  I become The Creator.  I replace Love as God invites with this  … “sterile love” …   I become a fully functioning modern day Pharisee.

“Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you.”

I spent three hours in fellowship last night. We know little more about each other’s personal life, personal foibles, personal history, personal mistakes, personal embarrassments than we did before.  But we do know we can trust each other.

That is safe.

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “I make “love” just another insulator

  1. Amen, brother! (Mind you, did we really say all that to the staff? !!)
    I guess Luke’s mask shows more than a bit in the way he wrote the verses you quote. And Jesus was speaking in riddles again! Those two points don’t create a recipe for good, effective communication at the start – but, as always, Jesus really gets to the root of it at the end. Mind you, it’s just good hygiene practice to wash your hands, isn’t it!
    Blessings to all.

    • Poetic licence to make a point! 🙂
      Strikes me and more that the bible is written to be read with brains and God together. Take God out of it – and brains can be a fickle companion I find.
      Maybe because we are bombarded with docusoaps so often.

  2. “Sterile love.”
    There you go again making a point. A very “painful” but well needed point on my end.
    Concerning Mark’s question about “is it safe?” It often feel’s safe to just stay in the boat with people you know and not even attempt to walk on water, but then we miss opportunities for the miraculous that make us feel alive instead of just existing. Living instead of just existing requires risk. Do we dare…

    • What a fab question! And a humbling comment.

      And the boat comments makes me think of “I am being brave Lord” – followed by a few tears as someone says something that “get’s us” and we look down. Walking on water is never a solitary exercise I think.

      Thank you Lilka 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s