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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Love is Not for Fraidy Cats

John thinks the opposite of love is fear. At least that's what he told me in his first letter. I had always believed--no doubt along with most people--that love's opposite is hate. I'm sure that's also true, but consider what the apostle wrote in his epistle (are you tongue-tied yet?):

"There is no fear in love" (I John 4:18). John went on to say that "he who fears has not been perfected in love." That got me to thinking.

Fears what? What do I fear more than anything else? What do you fear the most? Maybe for you it's death, or the loss of a loved one, but if we were to be honest, I wonder how many would agree that we mostly fear something so silly it's embarrassing to admit: We fear the same people who fear us. We worry about what others think while they worry about what we think. We are afraid of fraidy cats--people who blush and  sweat and tremble and get blotchy red necks and butterflies in the pit of their stomach just like we do. No matter how long a string of letters trail behind their name.

What if there were such a thing as "fearless love?" What if we could find ourselves at a place of perfection, completion, in this kind of love? How would it change our lives if we loved without a trace of fear? I've been thinking about this for a while, and I've concluded that with "fearless love" for people I would...

never be intimidated

express myself without inhibition

walk in transparency

not fear being judged

freely admit to my stupid mistakes and laugh at myself

risk reaching out to those who might wound me again

request that interview

ask for that endorsement

apply for that position

start that business

preach that sermon

befriend that neighbor

forgive my husband

engage the cashier

schedule dinner guests (This is huge for me; I have an irrational mental block about hospitality and cooking. Which is indeed silly; I make a mean lasagna. Besides that, I know that people don't come primarily for the food; they come for friendship.)

dance like nobody's looking

avoid the use of clich├ęs

What would you add to this list? What would it look like if you could love without a trace of fear?

Too bad it can't happen. Too bad we have to settle for very human-like human love--love that loves with reservation. Love that loves while carefully protecting "self." Love that is afraid to let go. Love that's chained by fear--fear of rolling eyes, fear of being spent, or "dissed," or under appreciated....

If only there were someone that had this "fearless love" and could somehow work it into our DNA so that we grew in it, became perfected in it. If only we could inherit this kind of love, as a father passes certain genes onto his children. What if there were some type of, say, heavenly Dad who recognized our fearful, less-than-perfectly-loving condition and offered to do something about it.  And we took Him up on it. Of course it would involve quite the transformation. A spiritual heart transplant of some sort. A mystical transfusion of blood. A receiving of that heavenly love in ourselves first. But oh, what we could do with this new and fearless love!

"And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." I John 4:18

2 comments:

gigimae101 said...

let me not be a fraidy cat but rather be for the common people.. like in clay in the hands of the potter, some he set aside for nobility and some for the common use. great job faith.

Jaeryd said...

Sounds kinda like you've been in the Landmark Forum before, though I doubt it would be necessary for you to go through it to learn this kind of stuff. It is what I consider to be a universal truth, at least from what I can feel is the truth that God has revealed to me at this time.

Perhaps if we had that ability to be completely open and fearlessly love we could accomplish a world where we could work for the sake of working, because we enjoyed it, and our creations could be compiled into a store where any could take what they wish. Items would always be in surplus and people wouldn't need to take more than they required. Everyone would be equally rich and grow in their wealth together. Humanity could transcend this current existence to become more than anything it has ever thought possible.

I think that truth and power is being revealed to us. The power to change and uplift those below, to have the world stand on our shoulders and thus pull us up with them. Together we will rise up and take this existence into the eternal and everlasting, evolving into creatures that can understand and see much more than we currently can.