God doesn’t ask us to love in halves……. (2009)
This has been tumbling around in my head; over and over and over again…..during a discussion with a friend recently I was warned to guard my heart in terms of the way I loved a foster baby… through my tears I responded God does not call us to love in halves. Nowhere in scripture does it say:
Kinda love them
Love, but hold back
Share your love in part…..
Imagine if God only loved us half. He adopted us so he is under no obligation to love us with everything, I mean we not really, totally his since we get to make choices – oh and we are going to hurt him and let him down, so you know if He only chooses to love us partially, then that’s okay – NO!!!!! That is so not what love is: chosen, adopted, love means He does whatever it takes for us to understand what His love means. Yes God is wise in His loving, knowing we are mortal, but does it mean that he loves us less – NO. In fact it’s almost as if through our brokenness He gets to share His love with us more.
Guard your heart I hear you say – most definitely I respond. But who better to guard my heart than the author of love – God. I mean Jesus knows what it means to hurt for love and if I can’t trust Him with my heart then who is safe?
It may mean my heart feels hurt when things don’t always work out comfortably for me – but He won’t let me be harmed, or damaged or permanently wounded so I can’t love and the reason I know this is because if we are called to love and to be an imitator of His image why would we only need to do this in halves?
SO when I look at A, or people in Mozambique who lose everything to natural disaster, or L whose mom poisoned her and I weep for her, it’s because I have opened my heart to love and to feel compassion in a way that means my heart has to be engaged, not just my head. It means when I look at A that I see an opportunity to love wholeheartedly, knowing that whether I get to love him for 6 weeks or 6 months or 6 years I get to practice being like Jesus. I look at A, this little 2 yr old ball of energy and am humbled that I get to love him – what an honour. Me. In my brokenness, I, Alexa, get to love unconditionally, with all my heart, someone who can’t give back beyond simply being. Isn’t that awesome? He chose me long ago – he was the first child to look at me and call me mama. This invisible thread that connects us that my mom sees and others’ recognise is simply genuine love.
Will I miss him if he gets parents – of course; would I adopt him full time, 24-7 if I could? Without a doubt. Can I love him enough to let him go to other parents? I pray for this to happen, much like I pray that God will open the doors if I am going to be the person who gets to love him for life.
Throughout it all though, how dare I try and love in halves, partially, with a big guard across the entrance to my heart? That’s not love – that is self-protection.
God has taught me that He wants to be my guard. He wants to hold my heart in the safest place in the universe – His hand and mould it, and grow it and guide it.
Why is this important? Imagine if we all let our guards down, just 5% – we just were willing to love 5% more. Real, genuine love. How different this world would be. Imagine the depths of relationship we could attain. Imagine the amount of hurt that would be healed. Imagine children growing up learning empathy through living in it. Imagine how more potent our prayers would be – not just for those we are safe to love, but those we have yet to meet. People in countries we don’t see, yet hear about all the time – are we willing to allow God to show us His heart, just 5 percent more than what we would normally allow in. How different would this world be?
SO I look at my world and I ask myself:
Who do I get to love in my world? Who do I get to treasure in my world? Who do I get to impact with the heart and mind God birthed in me? And when I put my head down at the end of my day, I don’t ask myself what did I protect myself against – the question I need to sit with is:
Did I love – wholeheartedly, passionately? Did I love with wild abandon? Did I love generously? Did I love the way in which I have been loved?
Did I love?