Monday, May 4, 2009

+ have i found love? +

Preface: Over the last several years, I have suffered from panic attacks and periods of severe anxiety; this being the overflow of the fear that is rooted in the rock-bottom depths of myself: I must be perfect in order to secure a love that will never leave me, and I cannot be perfect.

When my dad and the anchor of my world stopped being a dad, and became simply my father, I realized that there was nothing I could say nor do to accurately express nor portray who I truly was, and how much I loved, needed, and wanted his love and presence. I realized that my security was entirely at the mercy of the perception [of me] of the person choosing to love or not love me. I had always thought that if they just knew what was inside...if they could just see my heart, they would never leave me, never be harsh with me, never speak against me, never hurt me, and most certainly never do the worst: abandon me.

Since I was 17, I have sought to find an accurate definition or picture of love. My definition thus far has been painfully skewed: Love is someone else doing what they think is best for you, and you earn this love from them by being perfect in their eyes. Read that again, and let it resonate.

The default definition of Love that I came to was Jesus's death. But sacrifice didn't seem to cut it - I can't find someone to nail me to a tree, and even if I could, it would serve no purpose here. But today, I think I am finally seeing the beginning of the picture, and I want to share. The heart of it, I believe, is this: REAL Love is something that is always given in spite of you, never earned.

- - -

I am not loved because I am perfect.
I am loved because I am not perfect.

It is my imperfection that makes it possible for me to be loved.

The sole purpose of Righteousness is to be placed in a position where love unhindered can be both given and received.

Righteousness is the means, not simply the end goal.

My righteousness no longer comes from my being and doing that which is perfect (for it cannot guarantee love) – my righteousness comes to me in love, from Christ, because I am imperfect.

This is a new love(!); we love because he first loved us. This is a new love; one that is safe, and does not allow my imperfections to cause me to fall out of love, for it is these very imperfections that allow me to be made whole by a righteousness not my own, in order that I my be the recipient and also the giver of a true, pure, and honest love. Perfect love, that casts out all fear. This love is now out of my hands, forever. What peace!

Sin is missing the mark.
My sins are not my conscious slaps in the face of God with the intention of hurting him.
My sins are missing the mark of what is best – what makes me whole.
My sins are the actions I take that give evidence of how broken and hurt I am.
My sins are my desperate search to numb pain, fill emptiness, and feel whole – and fail.

My sins are my imperfections, not what makes righteousness impossible, or what keeps the aching hope of love at bay.

No, if I were perfect, I would not need a righteousness not my own. And if I did not need a righteousness not my own, I would never experience a Love that says “I want you for you, not what you can do for me.”

Again, my constant state of missing the mark is what triggers the outpour of compassion on me from a Father who loves me as a child –

Again, my imperfections ALLOW his righteousness to work itself out in me, which places me in the position we all hunger and hope for: to stand in the middle of a saturating love that does not rely on me.

At last, something I cannot ruin.

I cannot ruin this.

Love, forever.


Tony York said...

very nice.

Anonymous said...

You are everything that I'm not, but wish I're perfect...

Anonymous said...

This is a wake up call:

I am not loved because I am perfect.
I am loved because I am not perfect.

Thank you.

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