Monday, April 8, 2013

Why Seeing IS Believing - Count Gifts

I need to confess something.  I am deeply afraid of being alone.  I am afraid that those I love and am coming to depend on will leave, walk away, grow tired of me.  I'm afraid I'll never find the Adam to my Eve, that help-meet.  I'm afraid I'll prove not good enough to be loved and cared for, not good enough to build lasting relationships and find people who want to walk life with me.  And as I write these things down, I feel almost foolish, because hasn't God proven over and over that He is faithful and never leaves and His timing perfect?

But the fear is real because faith and love, as Luci Shaw says, are intangible and unseen and I can move in that direction but never achieve full certainty.  "God Himself, a Spirit real but invisible calls [me] to live this Adventure guided by a hand and an arm that [I] cannot see or prove in irrefutable terms."  So how then, do I follow?  And perhaps Ann is right.  I feel it deep now, deeper than the beauty of the words on the page: If perfect love casts out fear, let me count the ways He loves!

I can't see this God or the arm that guides, but I can see 1,000 and more gifts.  All around, 1,000 reminders that He loves.  Oh how He loves!  My heart sings.  And so I count the gifts and I whisper thanks and I recite Psalm 18:30, "This God - His way is perfect, the words of the Lord proves true, He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him."  And I believe.

And this is what it all comes down to: Eucharisteo, this trifecta of joy and grace and thanksgiving, is all about love.  Call it what it is! Because it's not enough to keep a list or give thanks or name graces or seek joy.  I must call it what it is!  Because ultimately what we are thankful for, what grace is, why we have joy, the Eucharist itself comes down to love.  Why did Jesus, when facing death and unrelenting suffering, betrayal and rejection, give thanks?  Because of God's deep love for us!  The breaking of the body, the drinking of the vine comes down to love.  And this isn't  new; it's just finally clicking.  And if I am to LIVE, I must live in light of this:  God loves deep and real.

And it is not the trite "God will never leave you" that gets me through.  It is the fact that God loves deep and relentless and shows it 1,000 ways.  And if we who are evil know how to give good gifts, how much better are His?  And I can even suffer broken like Jesus, like Job, and still give thanks, thanks in the brokenness because HE LOVES!

Lord, teach me to live this language of love, to use Eucharisteo to lead me back to your arms, time and again.

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