We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
I very much believe that the core moment of Jesus' public life was the baptism in the Jordan, when Jesus heard the affirmation, "You are my beloved on whom my favor rests." That is the core experience of Jesus. He is reminded in a deep way of who he is. The temptations in the desert are temptations to move him away from his spiritual identity. He was tempted to believe he was someone else: you are the one who can turn stone into bread. You are the one who can jump from the temple. You are the one who can make others bow to your power. Jesus said, "No, no, no. I am the Beloved from God." I think his whole life is continually claiming that identity in the midst of everything. There are times in which he is praised, when he is despised or rejected, but he keeps saying, " Others will leave me alone, but my Father will not leave Me alone. I am the beloved Son of a God. I am the hope found in that identity.
Prayer, then, is listening to that identity- to the One who calls you the Beloved. My life is not rooted in the world, and the things the world gives me. My life is rooted in my spiritual identity. Whatever we do, we have to go back regularly to that place of core identity. Henri Nouwen, "Parting Words"
And we have a delay in Portugal, waiting for the bus from Madrid, and the return to the other world begins to shift into focus. I was up at six this morning undergoing the ever-humbling task of videoing myself answering complicated teaching questions, then uploading them to YouTube as part of an interview process. I did my best to ensure that they are not accessible to the general public, let me tell you. And I have a Viber phone call scheduled with another administrator for later this afternoon, as I am spending now eleven hours on a bus with wifi. And the beat goes on.
To a different drummer.
May He be my pulse. Gentle, steady, low, yet strong.
And Andres gave me a rosary. And I am wearing it as a reminder of "for the joy set before Him." I know there is power in the resurrection, but there is so much tangible love demonstrated in those outstretched arms.