Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love and Freedom

Al Willingham and me, in Nairobi, Kenya
I am praying for a heart of love. For a heart of greater love; for heart-knowledge of the greatest love. Why? Because I lack full experience of it. Because I have not realized just who it is who is now in me; viz., Christ, the hope of glory. I know, in my mind and by what experience I have, that God loves me. I am praying for more experience of such love.

I am praying that the eyes of my heart will be opened wide to the reality of the high, long, wide, deep love of Christ. I want to know this cognitively unknowable love of God. God loves me far more than I know with my mind. That is what I want to know, and such knowledge can only come by experience. Love, essentially and only, is experiential.

I want to love my enemies like Christ loved all of us. This is love in action, rooted in experience. When I am being crucified I want a pure heart of forgiveness towards my crucifiers. When I think of this I say "How outrageous and incomprehensible is the love of Christ!" And, "How free Christ was!"

When this love becomes, experientially, fully mine, I will be fully shackled to Christ and a free man. A revelatory experience of this "no greater love" is the freedom I have been longing for. In that ongoing moment one rises detached and unmoved from the praise and blame of people and loves these people for who they are and what they can be. The freer a person is the more purely they can love. This is the highest form of love, exemplified in Christ, who loves with no expectation of reciprocity.

Jesus, therefore, was the perfectly free Person. Love and freedom walk hand in hand, dialectically. To love purely is to be free; to be fully free is the necessary precondition for purely loving.

Pray that the eyes of your heart will be opened, by the Spirit, to know the love of Christ (Ephesians 3).