Monday, March 22, 2010

love me

If I could sing like angels and wore flowers in my hair,
would that make you love me?
Would that keep you there?

If I could paint a picture or could dance on air,
would you say you love me,
with no affections spare?

What if I would feed the poor or give my life to prayer,
is that why you would love me?
Is that why you would care?

If I had skin of porcelain and eyes beyond compare,
would I be what you would want?
Would you then call me fair?

If I could see the souls of men and free them from their lair,
would I be enough for you?
Could you find something there?

Or what if I’m just as I am—broken, lame and bare?
Could you make me beautiful?
Could you with love repair?

If I stop striving for your love through being something rare,
would you show me who I am?
Could grace undo despair?

Then crooked though my heart may be, with you my heart I’ll share.
Because you love me as I am,
with you I cannot err.

Judging Judgers

If there’s one type of person I can’t stand, it’s people who judge other people. No, that irony is not lost on me.

Over the past month, I have had strong reactions to people who have criticized, mocked, or put others down. I’ve been angry about their lack of grace, and yet I couldn’t bring myself to show them grace. As I’ve been thinking about my unwillingness to love at all times (even when people are stupid), I wonder how circular this all is. I wonder if our judgment of others doesn’t come out of our own fear of being judged. Our inability to love comes out of our fear of not being loved. Our lack of grace toward others comes from our inability to receive grace for ourselves.

I admit that my judgment of others comes out most when I am terrified of being judged— when I’m insecure and feeling like I’m not enough, I’m not lovable. But if I can accept myself as a human who does and says stupid things sometimes (often) and is still loved, then I can show grace to those who, like me, are insecure, judgmental, and self-focused at times.

I think our deepest longing is to be loved in spite of how unlovable we are, and our deepest fear is that all that is unlovable in us will be exposed. Ironically, the more fearful we are, the more the unlovable is exposed.

I trace most things back to fear. Fear is a saboteur targeting our relationships and our personal freedom. It manifests itself as control, insecurity, pride, arrogance, suspicion, and judgment. We are all touched by fear. It is part of the human condition and it can only be healed by the assurance that we are lavishly loved, even when we aren’t easy to love—when we act foolishly and don’t deserve it. Perfect love drives away fear.

Fear is the enemy but we treat one another as the enemy. We treat God as the enemy. I think we have such a hard time surrendering to God’s love because we have a hard time letting go of our fear. It is our old friend. We cling to it rather than clinging to each other, to God, to Truth. And so, we resist grace and love. And we make a mess of our lives and relationships. So tragic.

So, I’m learning to pay attention to my own judgment instead of getting angry at others for theirs. It is the warning on my dash telling me that fear is taking over. It tells me that I need to surrender to God’s love so that I can be healed and show others grace. Perfect love drives away fear.