I once read a story, (whether true or not, I do not know), that the citizens of East Berlin decided on a particular day to dump all of their garbage over the wall onto the side of the westerners. In return, the next day, the citizens of the western side, in a fit of inspired retaliation, heaved thousands of flowers over the wall onto the side of the shocked easterners, and with them, raised a large banner that read…”We each give what we have.”
The prince of this world offers us shades of grey, a dark-shadowy imitation of the real thing, that when tested and tried leads only to a darker, emptier, pain-filled smudge of black...since that, in the end, is all he has to give. The enemy is a cheap, mean, and uninspired date.
But, oh on the other hand, the depths of the Love, the beauty and the richness of our full-color, extravagant Lover, God of Light! He is unparalleled. The Creator of the Universe, Who has all of time and space at His command, and allows us to share in it, and calls each of us to be His bride. The God of all that is good and generous, warm and genuine... the God of Christmas and Easter... the God of family and friends... of pure and holy wedding day kisses, and the delight of new babies birthed... the God of loving kindness, mercy and untold grace….the God who invented self-giving, intimacy, and union... this is a Lover you and I really need to get to know.
He always brings His Light into darkness. He longs to set us free and aflame with His love. In Psalms 63 David speaks of Him like this:
O God, you are my God—
it is you I seek!
For you my body yearns;
for you my soul thirsts,
In a land parched, lifeless,
and without water.
I look to you in the sanctuary
to see your power and glory.
For your love is better than life,
my lips shall ever praise you!
I will bless you as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands, calling on your name.
My soul shall be sated as with choice food,
with joyous lips my mouth shall praise you!
I think of you upon my bed,
I remember you through the watches of the night
You indeed are my savior,
and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
My soul clings fast to you,
your right hand upholds me…
I ask myself, do I know this God? Do you know this God? All of scripture speaks of Him. The Divine Love Song runs from Genesis to Revelation shamelessly exposing the intentions of our God--to pursue us until we Love no other. He wants to touch our hearts and our souls until we unhesitatingly say yes to Him with all of our being.
The world will tell you that God and His ways are old, dry, stale and boring. But those who know God know that nothing could be further from the truth...because He is Truth.
Could the God who bends light into rainbows and paints sunsets with dust particles, who has an infinite storehouse of uniquely designed snowflakes, and tiles butterfly wings in a riot of color (see photo for proof), writes symphonies of bird songs, rides on starlight, flings phosphorescence into the seas and dreamed up puppy-breath really be the least bit dull?
When I look around, all I see are infinite shades of Light, color upon color, mico-pixels of His Created Genius and each one speaks to me of Him. And then in the excitement of drinking in the beauty of this earth, I am reminded again and again of His unfathomable love for me. I am His beloved and He is mine. He has proven that love not only through all that His Hands have produced but also through His unthinkable sacrifice of Himself on the cross for me. If ever I feel the need to ask, “Do You love me?” I simply need to once again look to Calvary.
If you, like me, ever get side-tracked or lost in “doing the Lent thing” or “doing the Church thing” or “doing the Catholic or Christian thing” for any reason other than being madly, passionately in Love with God and wanting to grow even more deeply in that love, based on His extravagant, unbelievable love for us, then I pray that He will re-capture our attention with His earthly created beauty and we will say…”Oh, there You are!” and we will fall into His infinite shades of Light and Love once again, where no darkness can ever extinguish its intent, desire or fire.
Now this is the message that we have heard from him and proclaim to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-9
I thank You that You are Light, and in You is no darkness at all! I am awestruck by the beauty and depth of Your love for me. I am overwhelmed by Your creativity and the lavish display of Your handiwork that this earth and all that is in it displays as a love-letter written to me. You are an extravagant giver, for You have all of creation to give. It all belongs to you. May I not be drawn to the things that are not of You, things twisted by the enemy that seem to offer good, but in the end only offer sorrow and pain. May all that I do be a result of a heart that is captivated and yearns to please You. Please give me the grace to unite myself to You this Lent in a beautiful and meaningful way. And when at last I am able to celebrate all You have done for me at Easter, may I see how much further down the road You have taken me. May it be a spectacular display of love, as I will give what I have and it will all be from, to and about You.
I ask this in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
*see this link for info on the dangers of the movie and the behavior portrayed in it: http://www.miriamgrossmanmd.com/an-open-letter-to-young-people-about-fifty-shades-of-grey
See you next Tuesday. I will only be doing a once a week postings during Lent.