Something I learned a while back was how important it is to know what it is that God is doing in your own life, before wrestling with what God is doing in the lives of those around you. My life is a responsibility shared between God’s love for me and my response to that love. As I wrestle with the inner journey of change (as that is where all true change begins, in our heart), I need to find the Christ-like transformation of my inner self that will bring the outward glorification of Him that lives in me. And so today I read this:
‘Your love, insofar as it is from God, is permanent. You can claim the permanence of that love as a gift from God. And you can give that permanent love to others. When others stop loving you, you do not have to stop loving them. On a human level, changes may become necessary, but on the level of the divine, you can remain faithful to your love. One day you will be free to give gratuitous love, a love that does not ask for anything in return. One day, you will also be free to receive gratuitous love. Often, love is offered to you, but you do not recognise it. You discard it because you are fixed on receiving it from the same person to whom you gave it. The great paradox of love is simply that precisely when you have claimed yourself as God’s beloved child, have set boundaries to your love, and thus contained your needs, you begin to grow into the freedom to give gratuitously.’ Henri Nouwen ‘The Inner Voice of Love’
Any great move of God is always going to be one of love. Our shared journey is to find that place of love where, no matter how deep the rejection you feel from those that seem to have stopped loving you, or from those that need from you what you simply cannot give, we can still love. This is Christ-like love. Love that is still given in secret to those that cannot receive it, released to those that have rejected it and is fully embracing to those that return to it. The secret journey.