Saturday, July 7, 2012
Love is terrifying.
I'm always a big fan of people who can combine satire and wit with spiritual conviction in a way that they are able to get a really powerful message across without boring people to tears. You should check out more of these videos; this kid is hilarious. And he's actually from Nashville, and a bunch of my friends know him, which is totally random but I think is cool.
This is probably my all-time favorite "Messy Mondays" video, and a big part of the reason for that is because of one line that comes about 4 minutes and 20 seconds in.
"God is love. But love? Is TERRIFYING."
Michal and I spent a lot of time talking about love in our conversation last night, both the incredible love we feel from God and the love poured out on us by the friends in our lives. We were sharing stories about the people in our lives who make us feel so honored to be loved by them, and how all of that pales in comparison to the love God lavishes upon us despite how undeserving we really are. The conversation, for me, could not have come at a more perfect time because I had just had several conversations with various people in which I let them know just how much they mean to me.
I've made no secret here about how much I love my friends, or how some of them feel more like family to me now. I'm not shy about telling them the same things I've written here, either. I know what it's like to have no one and to feel like no one would miss you if you were gone, so I don't want any of the people whom I love to ever wonder if they matter, even for a second. I love intensely, and yes, sometimes that sets me up for pain and heartbreak because people don't understand my heart or my intentions behind it, but the truth is, I wouldn't change this part of me for the world.
Michal was telling me about a friend of hers during our conversation, and she said she "had never felt more honored to be loved by someone," how she couldn't understand why he loved her so much. I instantly knew who that person was for me...
Remember "that friend" I told you about whom I did not speak to for about three weeks? I was intentionally very vague about who it was because I felt extremely protective over this person, for reasons I didn't understand at the time. That person knows about this blog, and if they found the things I had said about them, I wanted them to see that I was trying my hardest to respect them while still being able to release my pent up feelings about the situation, and I didn't want them to think I was broadcasting what had happened to the world so that my friends would hate them because I wasn't. I never hated them. Now that that is all over and in the past, I finally feel like I can tell you who "that friend" is.
What happened between us honestly doesn't matter to me anymore. What matters to me now is that when Michal said she felt more honored to be loved by this friend of hers than anyone else, his name popped in my head right off the bat. I knew why I was so protective over telling you that Brennan was "that friend". It's because from the second I met him, his love for me has been more Christ-like than anything I've ever experienced from another person. When we finally made up after that rough patch, during that conversation, I realized that Brennan's love for me had never quit. He'd never stopped praying for me. He'd never stopped wanting the best for me. He hadn't given up on me when I fully expected him to, because that is all I had ever known. I was feeling protective over that love.
I ask myself often what I ever did to deserve a friend who loved me like that. I posed that same question to Michal last night in the midst of our discussion of God's love and the love of our friends. Why does Brennan still want to be my friend despite the fact that, let's face it, sometimes I'm crazy? Why didn't he leave when he first had the chance? Because he understands the love of Christ in a way I'm still trying to figure out. Christ has been using him and everything I've been through with him to show me the love He had waiting for me for so long. Just like I never did anything to deserve Brennan's love as my friend, I'll never do anything to deserve, change, or take away Christ's love for me.
For a long time, I never understood why people used the term "God-fearing." I didn't understand why you were supposed to be afraid of a God that is pure love. Now I get it. That love really is the most terrifying thing I've ever had to face. The idea that Brennan still cares about me despite everything that happened scares me. The knowledge that I am loved unconditionally by God in the middle of a world that constantly tells me I have to prove myself scares me. How perfect God must be to love me despite the fact that I am often an utter failure. Real love, the kind of love that Christ exemplified in his very existence, is humbling, exciting, unnerving, and absolutely terrifying. That probably sounds like a disaster waiting to happen for someone with my long history of trust issues. But the truth is, I'm not scared of being loved anymore. I'm not scared to tell Brennan anything and everything on my heart because I know he'll still be there when I'm done. He has shown me Christ. Christ will still be here no matter what.
God is terrifying, but it's in the most beautiful way, the kind of beauty our human minds can't understand. I am honored that He has put His love in my life in a totally tangible way. I pray that He gives me the chance to pay it forward, to have the courage to be someone else's "Brennan." Don't let me miss it, Lord, when I have the chance to change someone's world the way this friend has changed mine.