|Self in a window, |
Linden Avenue Baptist Church,
Dallas Willard, as his life was nearing its end, lamented the fact that God's agape-unconditional love was not fully formed in him. I feel the same way. I do not yet love like Christ loved. This is one of my great shortcomings. My constant prayer is "God, produce your love in me."
What God intends for me is not completed. I have not arrived, but press on to make this my own experience. Thomas Merton felt the same way about himself. He writes:
"The question of love: I have to face the fact that I have simply sidestepped it. Now it must be faced squarely. I cannot live without giving love back to a world that has given me so much. And of course it has to be the love of a man dedicated to God – and selfless, detached, free , completely open love. And I have not attained to such a level, hence the risk. But facing the risk – not after all great since I am out here in the woods!! – I will learn. And God deliver me from selfishness." (Merton, Learning To Love: Exploring Solitude and Freedom (The Journals of Thomas Merton), p. 42)
God, have your way in me. Your way is love. Be perfected in me.