Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Source and Object of My Love

I am in love with love. The most exquisite notion of all that is beautiful and wondrous, it culminates in knowing and being known. It drives the affections and titillates the intellect, creating relentless, passionate pursuit. Deep desire burns and bubbles and bursts forth like the water in a cauldron under a hot flame.

There is a Source of my love, for I have neither the creative power nor the purity of heart to will it into being. A heart that is “deceitful above all things and desperately sick” (Jer. 17:9) cannot produce anything as exquisitely beautiful as love; out of its depravity, it can only twist and distort and defile the purity and essence of Divine Love. The Source of my love, then, is You, O my Lord and Savior. For I did not love first, but You first loved me (I Jn. 4:19).

If You are the Source of my love, then I am one conduit of Your love. It flows into me from the Source, passes through me, and is outwardly expressed from me. Therefore there is also an object of my love—that which receives the exquisite and beautiful affection created within me from You, the Source. And in measure of the love that I have been given, there must be a Primary Object which is the recipient of my deepest love and greatest affection.

My life, O Lord, is a quest to identify the rightful Object of my deepest love. At times, I find its fulfillment in an object called Matter—that which is tangible, but transient. There are fixed objects all around me that vie for my attention and affection. I can manipulate them, acquire more of them, and mold them into my liking for my use. But Matter has an elusive and mysterious power over me and turns me into a Materialist. I find that it does not pour love into me, but requires all of my love from me. And as I am required to pour out without being poured into, this finite creature who cannot create love any more than she can create the universe, is left feeling empty.

Another object calls out to me with the name of Power—that which is intangible, but also transient. The desire for it pulsates through my veins, moving to the rhythm that man is the measure of all things. Its friend, Knowledge, holds its hand, and together they dance through my mind, enticing me to join in the rhythm of their beat. They call me to move one foot forward, then another, faster and faster, until I am spinning and swirling and twirling at a dizzying rate. And when I arise victorious, they call me Humanist. But that which is intangible and transient also beckons me to love it, and it says that I must deny You, Lord, in the process. In taking up my crown and discarding the cross that You call me to bear, I am left with only a distorted, twisted, depraved love of self. And once again, I am empty.

A much more attractive object comes along and its name is Man—that which is tangible and intransient—for while he was not pre-existent, he is an eternal being. This object of love finds its attractiveness in the very truth that it has been created in Your very image. And perhaps that is what makes it the most desirous and dangerous of all. It is not content to ask for my love as a means to an End, but it desires to become my End. I pay tribute to it and it becomes an object of worship. It labels me Idolater and Adulterer, for it robs me of the love and affection that I have already given to Another. And because the love it gives to me is a mockery of the Love that I am intended to receive, I am still left utterly empty.

Upon the darkness of my condition breaks forth the Voice of Truth, the Light of light. It is the Source of Love Himself—He who is intangible and intransient. It is You, my Lord and Savior! You whisper into my soul, “The Source of Love is the Object of love.” While all else that surrounds me desires to be the recipient of my love, only the Source of Love deserves to be the recipient of my love. You, my Source, pour into this conduit so Your love might flow through her back to You. The Object is both the Giver and the Receiver. You label me Chosen and Beloved, for You called me out before the establishment of the foundations of the earth. In You, my identity is secure. And I am left feeling satisfied and fulfilled, for there is a constant flow of pouring into so that I may pour out Your Love to You.

O, to know and to love You more! How my heart longs to be in constant and continual communication with You, and thereby to receive unending joy and assured hope. Might You impart to me a greater passion and root within me a deeper adoration for my Savior. Become the Object of my love just as You are the Source of my love. Envelop me in Your Love so that I may see You; and in seeing You, know You; and in knowing You, love You; and in loving You, savor You; and in savoring You, worship You.

May the things that break Your heart shake me to the core. Grant to me a supreme dissatisfaction with the folly of this life, and make my heart loathe the idolatrous affections that woo my spirit. Become the Great Iconoclast at work within my soul. Destroy any desire within me to rob You of Your glory and replace my foolish pursuit of self with a grounded, firm, and unshakable pursuit of You. May my cries of desperation call to You as the Object of fulfillment. Cause my heart to echo the Psalmist’s, until my “soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord.” Make my “heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God” (Ps. 84:2). When my soul is drowning and gasps for air, fill my lungs with the sweet oxygen of Your presence. Dwell in my heart, Christ Jesus my Lord, rooting and grounding me in Love. Only then will I have the “strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge.” And only then will I “be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:17-19), the Source and Object of my Love!