Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Half-hearted love. #deplorable

Half-hearted love.

Nobody wants it.

I cannot get far enough away from it, repulsed by the idea alone.

It turns my stomach.

I’d rather have nothing and sit in the lack than entertain a misleading, mislabeled, depleted, distorted version of love.

We want to be loved entirely, don’t we?
Completely. Boldly. Unabashedly.

We want the kind of love that shouts from the mountaintops, that remains a priority every moment of the day. One that is willing to extend itself continuously on our behalf. One that never loses sight of the fact that we matter immensely. Available love. Freely given. Lavishly demonstrated. One for which we don't have to beg. Unashamed and unveiled. Audacious. Love so fixated on the object of affection that it takes no thought for the opinions of on-lookers. It is not distracted by things less worthy.

We want a love we don’t have to question. One that’s blatant. Clear. Consistent. And persistent.We want a love so apparent that anyone who encounters our lover automatically thinks of us also, so paired are we.

So tell me then, why, why, WHY do we think it is acceptable to offer a half-hearted, come-and-go kind of love to God…if we can even call it that? How dare we think that mere acknowledgment should suffice! That if we say we “know” Him, then that alone should be counted for “love”.

Or haphazardly offer love to Him as long as it serves our agenda, playing to our whims—truly, a projected form of self-love.

Why do we offer Him a love that is narrowed by the confines of other people's assessment--deciding if it is normal or too much? A neat, tidy, socially-acceptable, buttoned-up sort of love. One that asks Him not to intrude on our convenience, goals, reputation, or self-interested pursuits. A love that does not require us to rearrange our entire lives around it. Why?!

In what other arena would this be pleasing?!

I have on many occasions been "loved” half-heartedly, with the object of my affection keeping parts of themselves reserved, unreachable. It has been many things, but of them, never satisfying.

No, we want a love that is proud, uninhibited! One that will openly and publicly claim us, one moved by affection, one drawn to speak our praise—a doting sort of intimacy that is yet even more rich and deep in private than can be observed.

God wants the same.
Nothing less.

How can we stand, wanting to be loved this way, eager to receive it. From Him. From others. And yet remain unwilling to give the same in return? How can we try to play it cool, keeping things within the realm of “reasonable”?

A “reasonable” love, is in fact, no love at all.

How can we claim love for God, if it does not move us to shout it from the rooftops? If it doesn’t compel our every thought, motive, and desire? If it is not all-consuming?

Anything else is not love.
It is perhaps tolerance.
Perhaps something else altogether.
But, it. is. not. love.

Love is not tame. It is not quiet. It is not nicely contained. It cannot be mildly felt.

It occurs to me that God shares my disdain for reserved, shallow, barely-committed, less than consuming, less than available, less than vibrant love. For the crumbs of our heart we occasionally cast in His direction.

He wants the whole of it. Nothing else will do!

Revelations 3:15-16- I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

No in-between. Are you in or out?