The Post – The Gift of True Love

When I wrote this post for today, I forgot it was the 40th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Subconsciously though, maybe he guided my choice. His life and actions were all about non-violent change, through love and compassion. So, today’s entry….

I have this book, God Calling, which has daily readings. It’s author is unknown. The editor indicates it was written in England in the early 1930s, by two women living with great hardship, who started hearing these messages. Now while that might be a bit much for some to believe, I do think God still speaks to people today. If He could speak to Moses out of burning bush in the desert 2000 years ago, why can’t He talk today? Has something happened to His voice today that would render Him suddenly mute? I don’t think so.

In any event, it’s a book I’ve been using since…1980. I found it when on a silent retreat with an order of nuns. I immediately loved the book, found many passages that spoke to me, and have used it ever since. I am now on my second or third copy of the book, which I don’t think has ever gone out of print.

The really interesting and neat thing about it, is that sometimes I will read a passage and simply go “well, okay,” or “that’s nice” and not feel anything more for it. Another time, years later, I will read that same passage and suddenly, it is so relevant, I can’t believe it. The nature of life, of our hearts, our struggles, changes over the years, so hence, I think that’s why sometimes a passage will be relevant and other times not. Even when I’ve found a passage helpful, sometimes it’s usefulness over the years just continues to deepen, revealing new facets and nuances I’ve missed.

I share a portion of today’s entry. It is one I have highlighted, re-highlighted, put a star by….obviously, it has spoken to me many times. I guess I can relate. So often I fail at what I try in life. I mean well on something, then I try to execute that kindness or love and I fall so far short of what I envisioned. Or I thought I had it together, then got scared, betrayed my beliefs, or hurt someone, or just …..was human.

I love it every year when this passage comes around again, not because it’s a sort of “Penance” or a putdown, or a painful reminder of my repeated failings over the years. For me, it is actually a comfort, a ray of sunshine, a bright spot, a real place of hope, a soft warm blanket against a cold wind.

The truth is, there’s not a one of us who will ever live up to our ideals for ourselves….and THANK GOD FOR THAT.

We could never know what it is to be fully loved, unless we failed, and found that we were still loved by someone. God does that for us. At our moments of ultimate despair, biggest foul-ups, failings of courage, He not only sees, but understands, and continues to hold out a hand of love. That hand never gets pulled away. That love never stops, even when we stop loving ourselves because we think we’re so useless or flawed no one could possibly ever love us.

It is in failing, and then feeling that endless love, that we REALLY learn compassion and love for others. How can you know the pain another feels about a failure, unless you too, felt that same sense of failure and pain? If you never experienced that pain, followed by the sense that no matter what, God still loves you, how could you ever learn to give that gift to another?

The only way to truly embrace someone else, no matter the flaws, is to first fail yourself, feel that despair, then feel the deep relief and gratitude that comes from learning there still is someone in your corner. When you have been given that gift by the Universe, how can you not then give it to another? Pay it forward. That’s what God wants us to do. Receive the gift. Pass it along. The world is so starved for the simple gift of unconditional love.

In any event, from April 4th’s reading:

“My servant Peter was not changed in a flash from a simple fisherman to a great leader and teacher, but through the very time of faithlessness–through the very time of denial, I was yet making him all that he should be….Peter could never have been the after power that he was, had he not learned his weakness. No man can save, unless he understands the sinner. The Peter who was a mighty force for me afterwards…was not even first the Peter who said, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God,’ but Peter who denied me. He who had tested my forgiveness in his moment of abject remorse, he could best speak of me as the Savior.”

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