Guess its been on my mind a lot recently. Its been on my mind for the last year or so but I guess its just even more now because of situations from last week and the fact that all my friends have moved out of Montevallo for the summer and I have a lot of time to sit and stare at the walls and think. I was writing last time about not really knowing what to think about how I felt about, liked or whatever you call it, a girl that I'd been trying to go out with. I think through that situation God showed me more about the nature of love, regaurdless if I was experiencing it or not. I tend to think it was closer to love than I had been before because I found myself not focused on myself, but on her well being. In my last post I wrote about how I feel like I got pissed on a few times but just took it without really knowing until much later that there was piss on me. I wonder if real love just isn't aware of the piss or is fully aware of it and simply endures it because it's not in the other person's interest for you to tell them that they are pissing on you. Maybe its a combination. I still feel like it boils down to putting the other persons interest in front of your own. When stuff happened with Brandie I understood that I was getting my feelings hurt, but I choose to not worry about that because I would rather try to create the type of environment that I talked about earlier. The kind where she didn't feel the need to live up to unrealistic expectations or to perform.
In Ephsians, I'm pretty sure its there, Paul tells husbands to love their wives the way Christ loved the church. I think that is the essece of what Christ does for the church. He took a lot, more than I could ever imagine, and Im not going to try to expound because I would at best be approaching irreverence of the subject of Christ's life and death and probably end up using language in comparing that would make His death appear less that the truth of what it was. But back to the point Christ's died to set His church free. Im reading a book by Steve Brown and he talks a lot about how when someone is free, that is exactly what they are FREE. They can do whatever the hell they want. Free. Its almost tough to swallow. Christ died, He loved His chuch so very much that He would become man, dwell with an "unbelieving generation", be mocked, falsely accused...the whole story. And for what? To create an environment where His Beloved no longer needs to perform, live up to expectation, bear a judgement for their wrong, or feel guilty for thier life. That's how Christ loved the church, He cared not for His own well being but rather for the assurance of creating an environment for His bride to know that she is loved.
I think Derek Webb has helped me see this too. Ive been listening to his new cd a lot. "What looks like failure is success, what looks like poverty is riches....what looks like weakness can do anything, what looks like foolishness is understanding." Things really are kind of upside down for the believer. Even love I guess. True love probably looks like a bad relationship at first....at least from one side or the other. But I think that where true love is then there will be a freedom, and where there is freedom I think that love will be returned. In that Steve Brown book there is an illustration about Abraham Lincoln and this slave girl that he bought. She was dejected because she thought to herself, "Here is another white man that will use me then discard me." But Abe told her that she was free. She asked, "Free to say whatever," he said, "Yes," She said "Free to go where ever?" He siad, "That's right" She started crying and said, "I think I'll go with you." The neat thing about that is that the one who is set free really has no concept of what freedom is, its the liberator who understands freedom and desires to give it to the slave because they understand how good it is. Thinking about that and my own relationship with Christ, I really have no clue what freedom is or how to experience it, but He does and He deeply desires to make it known to me. Thats why I want to go with Him. He wants to show me how to experience the goodness of living a free life and I guess part of that is teaching me how to love people.
I realize that in writing all this and knowing that its mostly coming because of experiences with a girl that it would be easy to think that Im all broken hearted and lovesick. That may be partly true, but only a very small part. I have no clue if Ive ever loved a girl, or for that matter if I presenly like any or if I care to at this point in my life. I do however see that regaurdless of dating relationships I am called to love everyone like Ive talked about. I of course know that if I ever do date anyone again and that leads to marriage that that will be deeper than a love for my co-workers and I think thats great, but it doesn't lessen the fact that love is what the believer is called to. I think slowly but surely God is showing me what love is, and hopefully Im seeing what love is not also. Its kind of a long road and Ive felt really lonely lately, but thats just me being stupid and pissing on the one who loves me enough to walk with me and talk to me about all this stuff and teach me how to enjoy what He has created for me.