I've been reading a lot lately. Not the fluff stuff either. Smart books. Smart Jesus books if you will. We went deep once already this week, but I'm going deep again tonight, so feel free to hit the x at the top of the page.
If you are still with me, let me preface this situation. I am reading Henri Nouwen. He's basically awesome. I'm hoping that just a tiny little piece of his awesomeness will rub off on me. I'm going to put my thoughts out here on what I've read so far. Keep in mind I'm not as educated, smart and articulate as my friend Henri, but I'm going to just throw it out there. I'm not sure it's going to make sense, but who knows.
This book was basically written for a friend. Henri wrote this book to teach his friend and his friend's friends on what it means to be the beloved and how to become the beloved. (There's more, but I haven't gotten that far yet.) Here goes.
He describes what beloved means and how we are God's beloved. Really sit with that a second. You hear it all of the time. But, really soak it in. Do you know in your heart that you are God's beloved? That right there is a big one. Yes I know I'm loved, but do I know deep down that I'm God's Beloved? Deep down, I'm not sure. If I knew deep down, then I wouldn't be constantly searching for that one big moment, person, thing or relationship to convince me of my belovedness. (I don't write this lightly. It has really gotten me thinking) It's like I/we know we are beloved in our lives, but have we claimed it as our core truth? Why is it so much easier to overlook the soft, gentle voice in our hearts that speaks of our belovedness? We tend to hear the louder voice. The voice that says: "Prove you are worth something. Do something important. Do something spectacular. Then you will earn the love you so desire." I'm not going to lie my friends, sometimes this one gets me. I'll catch myself thinking that I'm not doing anything worthy. I'm not doing anything too spectacular here... Yes, I wish I was a doctor saving lives, or a teacher really helping someone, but I'm not. I'm 26. I'm an appraiser and I'm not even sure what the heck I'm supposed to be doing. And I'm pretty ordinary. You see, when we start listening to that voice, we forget that God loved us long before we were even here. We begin to feel the opposite of beloved. We fall to what I think is one of the biggest bad temptations ever. And that my friends is self rejection. (Not like oh my hair looks bad, but a deeper level.) Self rejection is the greatest enemy because it contradicts the voice that calls us the beloved. We have to listen to His voice. He loved us into existence. He knows every hair on our heads. When we listen to the voice that calls us the beloved, we will find within ourselves a deeper desire to keep hearing that voice. Not only are we the beloved, we must become the beloved. Our walk is just not one of being, it's one of becoming.
How the heckles do we get from here to there?
I'm not sure, but Henri has a pretty good idea. Becoming the beloved means letting the truth of our belovedness become en fleshed in everything we think, say or do. It's pulling the truth revealed from above down into the ordinariness of what we are- thinking, talking and doing. I thought this was pretty cool.
Here is another cool part. We are called to love. By loving, we are in constant relationship with people. In friendship we want our people to know how much they are beloved. Our friends call us to who we want to be, but they also give the assurance of their love. And vice versa. Here's the kicker. We have to understand our belovedness. We have to claim it. Because in friendship, we can only give what we have claimed for ourselves.
Wow. That's something to chew on. Hope it made sense. Let me know if you have any thoughts, comments or wise words...