I am aware that I have done quite a lot of ranting so far through this blog (*coughing*'"I'm generally just annoyed with our - and my - 'worldly' ways" is what I heard her say'. Barney), so I figured it was about time that I actually wrote some positive words of light and life down so that you don't all think that I really am being completely consumed by darkness.
Truthfully speaking, the DMoDs are really wreaking havoc in the life of The Loris. Somehow though through it all I am finding that the one constant in all of this has been Love. Not the sugary-coated gooey sweetness of what most people think of as love, but a real deep, burning and passionate love that is all-consuming, all-sustaining and often all-surprising in the ways and places in which It reveals itself. It is the very thing that drives and gives source and space to the Universe. This Love is uncompromising and unstoppable; it challenges, melts, grows and keeps us going. The best thing is that it is no respecter of persons: it is truly unconditional.
There is nothing that I can do to deserve this Love and nothing that you can do either. This Love flows and floods around us whether we want it or not. Things begin to change the moment that we allow this Love in. And this is what The Loris has been doing of late - properly, not with the door of my heart slightly ajar and hoping that this Visitor would soon go away and leave me alone - but trying to accept it and understand how it changes everything. I have been made more and more aware that without Love I have nothing, absolutely nothing - but I have learned that there is always Love surrounding me, if I would only just open the eyes of my heart to see it...
... so, my heart has realigned its sights and is firmly focussed on the Love that is calling me onwards and upwards. Life shapes us in how we respond to love, so sometimes when we have had a very rough deal at the the hands, or vicious tongues, of others we find it a bit disconcerting, confusing or even ridiculous or offensive that the very thing we have come to mistrust or view as a mere emotion should go about its business of rescuing us.
Rescuing us? From what, exactly? We might well ask this question, as, indeed I have been. Well clearly for me at the moment one thing it is rescuing me from is my desire to be rid of my life and to dash my self onto the rocks off St Abb's Head. Almost all of us experience the unconditional love of our parents at least in infancy and hopefully on through our lives. For some of us we learn very early on that love is not all it is 'cracked up to be' when we are bullied, abused or derided at home, in school, in work etc, so that we either think it is cheap and worthless, or hold it to be something so precious and unattainable that we will never experience it and both mean that we don't quite know what to do when we are told that we are loved. I think that I fit mostly into the latter 'unattainable' category.
I feel embarrassed because I feel unworthy. I feel unworthy because I feel unloveable and I feel unloveable because of - oh So. Many. Things... I never understood why my real friends stick by me even when I am hiding from the world under my duvet and crying through the night or cancelling things at the last minute or not having the capacity to talk to anybody. Yet, I am also amazed that I should be so unsure and mistrusting of receiving Love from others when I know that I am capable of loving with this very unconditional Love and know that it is the most precious gift that I, or anybody, have/has to give. The DMoDs have stamped all over my heart as well as my brain. They have spat poison into the well of hope and muddied the waters of Bethesda and left me believing there was no healing, no way out.
However, one night recently I thought I would just shove some 'worship' music on and see if would help me feel any better and as I grabbed tracks off Spotify I prayed simply, "help me Jesus!" , and something happened! Suddenly I was completely silenced and overwhelmed by the fullness of God's Love. I have no other explanation. It wasn't the music that took me there - in fact I was quite peeved at the irritating repetition of saccharine twaddle - it certainly was not my own thoughts for they were dark and gloomy. No, here, in my room at that moment was the Glory of God transcended and come simply to put some lovin' on me.
The next day I was sent a text by a Wandering Clay Man that said that they were standing with me and that I am loved and if I need to cancel things because of the crazy horrid DMoDs that it is OK and that I was not to let their sneaksy lies get the better of me; he also said that I was going to be kidnapped and taken out for food - which I was. I felt very humbled - if still rather bemused - by it all.
So then I set to thinking about how rich my life is because of one thing: Love. Or, more properly, YHWH. I am so richly blessed, not least because of all of the people in my life. For example, I have amazing friends and flatmates in The Inked Eskimo and The Punk Preacher who do not judge me for being a total messy heap of a person, who abide with me though I am scatter-brained and forgetful or manic and lunatic and who love me for myriad reasons, but especially because it is our calling*. I am so grateful for them, especially the splendid Eskimo, for her unfailing care and feeding of me. I think things would have been a lot worse for this little Loris had she been left to her own devices...( I am quite clearly incapable of sorting myself out right now and have zero energy these days.) Thank you guys! Love you so much. :]
I have a tonne o' splendid friends around the world (you know who you are), and am really thankful that my heart is in a much better place to accept your gifts of Love - I hope that in time I will be able to put my love for you back into action and not just words.
I thank Jesus for your unending Love, your arms that you let Jesus hug folks through, and your silliness. Thank you for your completely unconditional and sacrificial Love.
* this statement actually applies to ALL OF YOU, for you are standing with me and helping me through the Valley, but I just wanted to pay attention to these two folks today cos they have to deal with me every day...
Perhaps my most favourite hymn ever:
Love Divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven, to earth come down,
Fix in us thy humble dwelling,
All thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love thou art;
Visit us with thy salvation,
Enter every trembling heart.
Come, almighty to deliver,
Let us all thy grace receive;
Suddenly return, and never,
Never more thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve thee as thy hosts above,
Pray, and praise thee, without ceasing,
Glory in thy perfect love.
Finish then thy new creation
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see thy great salvation,
Perfectly restored in thee,
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise!