It is to the glory my Father that you should bear much fruit, and then you will be my disciples. John 15:8
Jesus asks Peter three times, “Do you love me?” God is waiting for us to respond. Life gives us endless opportunities for that response. But our love for Him must come first.
God wants all of our heart, all of our mind, and all of our soul. It is this unconditional and unreserved love for God that leads to the care for our neighbor, not as an activity which distracts us from God or competes with our attention to God, but as an expression of our love God who is revealed to us as the God of all people. It is in God that we find our neighbors and discover our responsibility to them. We might even say that only in God does our neighbor become a neighbor rather than an infringement upon our autonomy, and that only in and through God does service become possible. Henri Nouwen, The Loving Reminder
So I am starting to turn my thoughts to home, and the life that awaits me there. How do I take this repentance and this recentering and walk it every single day, anew? Beyond making a checklist I mean. I, being me, did make a checklist this morning. Not a TO DO list which is so very satisfying to tick off one at a time, but a TO CONSIDER list. Areas of my life to hold up to The Light and consider.
Because this is the hard step. The ruts are deep and well-worn. Thought patterns and Pavlovian systems ripple out in all directions, crisscrossing the hip-high in green new paths I wish to trod. And it isn’t calling for a backhoe scrape down to the foundational caliche. The truths are not new. But I wish to walk in freshness, with a light step. Freedom from The Accuser. Courageous joy. Rest in His centered Love. Come further up, come further in.
He will hear my voice. He will bring me safely back. God who is enthroned of old, will hear me. Psalm 55:17
O God, you have taught me to keep all Your commandments by loving You and likewise, my neighbor: Grant me the grace of your Holy Spirit, that I may be devoted to You with my whole heart and united to others with pure uncontaminated, affection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.