when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” —Psalm 17:15
Yeah, in a world like this, finding someone that likes you and you like back is so rare. There’s the excitement that though the world is as it is, though other relationships are what they may be, you find someone who just may like you for who you are, despite all else.
The hope is that somehow you’re evading the same fate as everyone else. What you have is special, and different. Until you realize that that someone’s no different. And hopefully sooner than later you realize that you’re no different. Even what seems so rare and precious in a life like this is itself fleeting and can be so worthless.
But in restoration comes radiance. A heart disfigured, turned inward toward itself, needs to be healed and liberated. Wisdom comes from open-eyed truth, when a heart is broken away from naivete into cynicism and understands and grieves in its brokenness, even realizing that innocence and naivete is itself not to be returned to, but rather a misappropriation of truth, a lost way. In that rests an opportunity for true love.
True love knows that the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Only true love can understand this. It does not merely say, in spite of the circumstances I will still love! It says because of the circumstances, because I am true love to a world that does not know love, I will love.
We have to be taught to love, because we do not know what love is. More so, we need to be first given a perfect love, because we are unable to love even adequately, particularly because there is only one true type of love, and that is perfect love.
Finding someone you like and likes you back is rare. But finding a perfect love that gives you the love that can love perfectly? That takes an earth shattering miracle. Love would have to become incarnate and love you perfectly, entirely, and assuredly for everything that you are not.
Only then can you not only like someone who likes you back, you can even love someone who hates you, and transform them into someone who not only loves you, but loves even those who hate them.
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. - St. John the Apostle, 1 John
Love so amazing, so divine, demands my heart, my soul, my all. - Isaac Watts
When [the joy of Christ] is lost sight of, selfish melancholy often fastens on us. We brood over our griefs till they engross us entirely, to the shutting out of all else. We magnify them; we spread them out and turn them over on every side in order to find out the gloomiest. We take credit to ourselves of endurance, and thus feed our pride and self-importance. We fret under them, and at the same time grow vain at being the objects of so much sympathy—at having so many eyes upon us, and so many words of comfort addressed to us.
Nothing can be more unhealthy than this state of soul, nor more unlike that in which God expects a saint to be. It shuts us into the narrow circle of self. It contracts as well as distorts our vision. It vitiates our spiritual tastes, it lowers our spiritual tone, it withers and shrivels up our spiritual being, unfitting us for all offices of calm and gentile love, nay, hindering the right discharge of plain and common duty. It is in itself a sore disease, and is the source of other diseases without number.
To meet this unhealthy tendency God seeks to draw us out of ourselves. He does so in holding up the cross for us to look upon and be healed: but he also does this by exhibiting the crown and throne.” —Horatius Bonar, The Morning of Joy
God will not go forth with that man who marches in his own strength.
Those who serve God must serve Him in his own way, and in His own strength, or He will never accept their service.
God will empty out all that thou hast before He will put His own into thee; He will first clear out thy granaries before He will fill them with the finest wheat.” —C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening Nov. 4
Yet let us not forget what the sorrow has done for us while it lasted; and what the night has been, though dark and sad.
It has been a night of grief, yet a night of blessing; a night in which there may have been many things which we could wish forgotten, yet many more which we should wish to be remembered for ever.
Often, during its gloom, we called it “wearisome,” and said. “When shall I arise and the night be gone?” (Job 7:4). Yet how much was there to reconcile us to it; nay, to fill us with praise because of it! It was then that the Lord drew near, and the world was displaced, and self was smitten, and our will conquered, and faith grew apace, and hope became brighter and more eager, and the things that are unseen were felt to be the real and the true; Jerusalem that is above was seen by us as our proper home.” —Horatius Bonar, The Morning of Joy
radiohead, there there
Lord save us from ourselves.