How are we being called to love God and to be loved in return?
Listen! My beloved!
Look! Here he comes,
leaping across the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Look! There he stands behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
peering through the lattice.
My beloved spoke and said to me,
“Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, come with me.
See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.
My beloved is mine and I am his.”
Song of Songs
I’m a Freak
I do not expect anyone to comprehend or understand the way in which I have experienced the love of the Divine. If I lived in India, I could say that I was a practitioner of Bhakti Yoga. Indians understand the call to devotional practice, where we accept the invitation to believe that we are the lover and the Divine our beloved. In the Western world, if you try to express this, people just look at you crosseyed. Well, look at me crosseyed if you will….but I love God….passionately, devotedly, overwhelmingly…..more importantly, I know and have experienced God’s love for me….and for all of creation. I do not wave this around as a flag of my own accomplishment because quite frankly, I can only hold this as the overwhelming, profound, humbling gift that it is. This experience of Divine love, I consider to be pure Grace – something that we receive not because we deserve it or because we prayed the right way or the appropriate number of times….it is simply gift – undeserved, unbidden, unearned. Pure, Grace. Neither can this experience truly be described….it is as if your heart is filled with a warm, bright light and expands beyond thought, beyond reason, beyond the universe and we are able to get a tiny glimpse into the heart of God and what we are able to see is a love beyond all love, beyond all imaginings, beyond any ideas of separation or judgment…certainly beyond any thought of sin or condemnation. God is love, pure love, nothing less.
But, there is something that makes me sad
This love of God is so far beyond what we can possibly imagine or ever experience in our human condition. This is the love that Jesus spoke of….Teresa of Avila, Francis of Assisi, John of the Cross, Hildegard of Bingen, Rumi, Hafiz, Rilke, Yogananda, and all the Indian masters. So if this love of God is so magnificent…..why are we still talking about punishment, condemnation, sin, judgment, etc. etc. etc. This makes me so sad. How can one get across to a fearful world that God loves….PERIOD…..and that this love does not have to be earned, neither can it be taken away. God loves….God is love…..love is God. And……not only does God love…..but God wants nothing more for us than to know this love. This is why I LOVE LOVE LOVE the book from the Hebrew scriptures, Song of Songs. There is absolutely NOTHING else that expresses the passionate love of God for us and the invitation for us to love God in return with a passion that might even be considered erotic!!!! In this poem, we are invited to recognize that we are God’s beloved and to accept the invitation to be God’s lover in return. Scandalous, I know! 😉
Still a Freak
So, I’m still a freak. I love God and enjoy with a bliss beyond all bliss the way that God loves me….more importantly, the way that God loves all of humanity, all of creation. I see the love. I feel the love…..and I know I am the love. In my world, there is absolutely nothing better than sitting in meditation and feeling this love, giving honor to this love through my yoga practice, observing this love move through me as I share my gifts with others. And, there is nothing worse than the moments I feel absent of this love….but it is during those moments of perceived absence that I find comfort in knowing, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”
How have you experienced God’s love in your life?
How are you being invited to perceive and realize this love more fully?
Authentic Freedom Ministries