Well last night I went to the supermarket to get a few things, and when I came out it was raining... I thought, ‘perfect, I’ll get one of these challenges out of the way!’ I flipped my hood down and started walking, getting soaked. The problem was though that my hands were full. I will walk miles this weekend with nothing in my hands, and I’ll be willing to bet that it won’t rain. God is unapologetically loving.
His love is tough, refreshing, frustrating… during my walk I dropped my stuff three times, there was a crazy amount of deathly traffic whizzing by and it was dark, and yet right then, in that way, He said I love you.
My whole life, all our lives really, are a journey to know the one who loves us most in hopes we can love Him forever. It’s not easy… and in another sense it’s the easiest thing in the world.
Let me explain. The Lord wants our hearts to stretch, and sometimes he lets us in on the plan and other times He just loves radically without even a warning. The last two weeks have been that for me. I spent a few months with my spiritual director planning how I was going to handle this summer in Mexico and the ways I thought He was going to love me into growth. I planned on being alone a lot, struggling with a loneliness that would drive me to Him. I planned on hearing all about my friends’ summer events and being jealous of them, and longing to go home. I planned on my prayer staying about the same in the day to day. But no. God had plans to love me in other ways, and with an even greater ferocity.
I’m never alone here. I live in a dorm with other seminarians and so it’s been impossible to be alone, let alone lonely. Amidst that the Lord has been loving me in the sense the Church is a family. Living in this family is hard sometimes because it’s radical… but it’s His will. He pushes me without a second thought of maybe I’m not too keen on carrying it… That’s how He loves. He knows best. As far as hearing about my friends’ plans, and longing to be there, they’ve been too busy to talk to me about them. I think this is harder, but it’s how He wants to love me. In my down time I’m finding myself conversing with the big man Himself, not about crazy big things… just about my heart, His heart, the people I love. Why? Because He’s placed a desire for intimacy in my heart that only He can fill. He’s unapologetically driving me to Himself, and it’s a difficult ride, but in my core when I get up in the morning I know He is with me. Prayer here is no longer a checklist of things to get done in a busy day of class, but conversation I couldn’t live without. The rosary isn’t a long repetitive prayer, but a way I can walk with my friends to the Lord in His mysteries.
Life is heavy. A lot of times we have no idea what the Lord is doing. It’s frustrating, a little scary, and sometimes the fear makes us want to close off to Him and His will. We want His will to be crystal clear, and we want it to make sense with our plans. But His creating love doesn’t make sense, the cross doesn’t make sense, His giving us His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity doesn’t make sense. He wants more for us than we want for ourselves. It’s hard to be humble and receptive.
I also said this unapologetic love is the easiest thing in the world though. How? God is always loving us. That fact is never a surprise. Nothing in the world is truer than that fact… and when we accept that truth in our hearts, the yes to love in its many forms, even if it’s inconvenient, is simple. I don’t know how He’s loving you right now, because it’s specifically for you, but let us pray for each other. Let us pray that we may have the courage to allow our lives to reflect the line from scripture, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”