Lookin’ for love…

I spent this past weekend with a dear friend and his family in Louisiana.  I went there for a weekend of rest, relaxation, and hopefully to find my heart again.  We ate some great food, drank some great margaritas, and listened to some great music.  An amazing weekend!

In the process we talked a lot about where I’ve been over the last few months and that spilled over into where I’ve been on this long journey of faith formation.  Not too surprisingly, there were more issues there than just the past few months!!!  One of the things that struck me was the longing in my heart for a mentor.  There’s always been a lot of talk in my life about finding a mentor — someone that will help guide you on the journey of life, and it has always sounded like a great idea to me.  So much so that I’ve spent a great deal of time and effort looking for that person to fill those shoes.  I’ve spent even more time and emotional energy hurting over the fact that none can be found.  Each time I’ve attempted to find someone to fill that role they either took advantage of me or abandoned me.  So to say the least there are some MAJOR trust issues there!  (as well as elsewhere)

As I was sharing this theme in my life with my friend, the image that defines that search for me was one that I had to share.  Henri Nouwen tells a story in one of his books about giving the priestly blessing.  (At least this is the way I remember it.)  He was going about the process (highly liturgical) of giving blessings, when a member of the L’Arch community who had the body of a 35 year old but the mind of a 10 year old ran up to him and layed his head on Nouwen’s chest.  Nouwen, being the spiritually in-tune person that he was, realized that THIS was the way a blessing should be given!  That image has always been one that stuck with me and I’ve longed for someone…almost anyone…to love me enough to pull my head to their chest and allow God to bless me there.  Of course, as soon as I shared this with my friend he stood up and pulled my 5’ 11" body close to his 6’ 4" frame and allowed me to feel God’s love.

Later that afternoon, I spent some "alone time" walking around in the misty afternoon of the bayou, and I was complaining to God about the way that He had abandoned me in my search for that mentor.  I was pretty honest with him (we’re rarely TOTALLY honest, in my opinion) and shared some strong feelings that come from years of loneliness.  Expecting to hear a kind word, I was surprised to hear, "Hey, dumb ass!  (sometimes Jesus has to speak my language for me to hear him) That’s what I’m here for!  If I had given you someone like you’re looking for, HE would have been God for you.  Now stop whining and let me hold you a while!"  I was stunned.  All along while I was feeling lonely and rejected, I was making Him feel the same thing!  I cried…

Later that night, as if I hadn’t heard the message, God shared this through the words of Brennan Manning:

How does the life-giving Spirit of the risen Lord manifest himself on [the bad days]?  In our willingness to stand fast, our refusal to run away and escape into self-destructive behavior.  Resurrection power enables us to engage in the savage confrontation with untamed emotions, to accept pain, receive it, and take it on board, however acute it may be.  And in the process we discover we are not alone, that we can stand fast in the awareness of present risenness and so become fuller, deeper, richer disciples.  In the process we not only endure but are forced to expand the boundaries of who we really are.

It’s in those time…those horribly lonely and abandoned times, when we can truly experience the "present risenness" of Jesus.  He becomes real.  So real that you can fall asleep with your head on his chest and receive a blessing.  I did just that! 

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~ by Chris Green on May 9, 2006.

5 Responses to “Lookin’ for love…”

  1. Wow! I just realize that I am a dumb ass too!!

  2. I’m sorry to have to be the one to break it to you!!! 😉 We ALL fit in that category, though!

  3. YOU always have the right thing for me to read on the right day…. Please know that you bless many people with your life, and it is so good to know that we are not alone…. Thank you again for sharing!! JZ

  4. Wow Chris….welcome to the dumbass club. I have been a charter member for many years!Love you and know God has GREAT things for you!

  5. Hey friend, there is not much I can say that you didn’t say…I think you are exploring places that many men are afraid to go because we would have to deal with it when we got there. Thanks for letting us in on your journey. What a blessing. I could have told you that you were a dumbass a long time ago. Just kidding…thought it would make you laugh.

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