We know who we are, us misfits. Nobody has to tell us.
Most of us never got what children really need when we were small. Abandoned or abused or neglected, we survived with a hole in our hearts where love and peace should have been. Some of us crippled, some left too young to make our way in the world, no money or education, subject to the bad advice and example of broken people along the way. Maybe perfectly normal on the outside. But deep inside we feel our own woundedness, our own frailty. Something at our core is damaged. We know it. Nobody needs to tell us.
How could anyone love us, we wonder?
Yet we crave love.
What would it take to feel peace? To trust?
What would it take not to hate ourselves anymore? Or not hate everything else?
To be free of the grinning imposter we have created to hide our crooked little selves? Feel loved for ourselves alone?
Physicists tell us that the universe is expanding all the time. Like an enormous explosion in slow motion. But it is not slowing down, as they expected, but speeding up. Leaving scientists with only one conclusion–that there is a power, an energy, that they know little of, connecting everything.
We are not scientists, most of us, and can barely comprehend the elements at play in their theories. But I wonder, if God is love and is the Creator and energizer of the universe, then we are all truly inside the exploding, ever-expanding sphere of His fierce love. And, in the exchange of energies at this level, maybe it won’t matter how much love we got, but only how much we gave. Because even if it is too late for us to get the love we missed, it is never too late to give it. That intention alone could answer all our questions about God.
Because God is love. (1 John 4:16) That invisible, unlikely ache in the pit of your stomach, pain down the center of your heart. Love. That is God. When you care more about the needs of someone else than you do about your own. When you want His best for someone, whether they know enough to want it for themselves or not. Whether they love you back or not. Love. The most powerful force in the universe.
But most of us spend our lives looking for the second most powerful force in the universe. Money, sex, alcohol, fame, food, drugs, revenge, control… It never works; but we keep trying it, like a bent key to a door that doesn’t budge.
But giving love feels almost like getting love. Healing. Holy.
Giving money doesn’t feel like getting money. Giving time doesn’t feel like getting time.
Down in black and white like that, it seems simple.
“If you seek,” Jesus said over 2000 years ago, “and keep on seeking, ”it will be opened up to you.” (Matthew 7:7) We wish. And we hope. But seek? Really search? How can someone so lame, so wounded, ever get there? Only by seeking Him…instead of all the other things the devil keeps presenting. Hard choices. So much easier to seek relief, entertainment, satisfaction. But worth it all when it is opened up to us. A light we never knew before. A song in the night where the dark used to be.
The old Leonard Cohen song “Anthem” still sings:
The birds sang at the break of day
Start again I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what has passed away
Or what is yet to be
…Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in
A broken vessel of fragile clay lets in a lot of light.