I have been asking the Lord to reveal to me how near He is and how much He loves me.
Because what do we need more than that?
What else is more protective against idolatry or hopelessness or fear? What else can take credit for being the backbone to true, unshakable joy?
And what else, other than a deeper revelation of how He loves me, can help me love Him more?
I’ve been wondering how often what I perceive as self-compassion or self-love is actually not me at all. I wonder how much it’s His love for me resounding within me. And I grasp onto it, calling it my own, because I don’t know any differently. He’s in me and I’m in Him and sometimes it’s hard to know where He ends and I begin. And so I feel compassion or love for myself and it surprises me, sure, but it feels so innate and natural that I think I was the original producer of those feelings. But maybe I’m not. Maybe it’s Him.
I’ll be sitting silently, reading or watching TV or talking to a client, and suddenly I feel love for myself rising up within me like a wind. And I’ll pause and turn my ear toward the sound of the tree leaves rustling and the wind blow past. And then it’s silent again. And I’m back at baseline. And I’m there, unchanged, but smiling inwardly.
And so I think, if it’s not me, or not entirely me, then maybe it’s Him. And if it’s Him, then how breath-takingly near He starts to feel. And with that, I can hallelujah my way through the day, confident of His hand wrapped around mine and our hearts interlinked. And I am not alone or unseen or forgotten because it’s all Him- it’s HIM.
It’s Him in the roar of love (for myself or others) rattling within the confines of my rib cage, begging to break free.
It’s Him in easy smiles and effortless gratitude for a new day.
It’s Him in the wind and rain and sun alike.
It’s Him in the compassion for others that comes so easily to me.
It’s Him in the silence and Him in the noise and Him when I’m alone and Him when I’m surrounded by people who love me.
It’s Him in kind eyes and generous hearts and in anyone whose brave enough to live life open and vulnerable and authentic.
It’s Him in the tick of the clock and the stillness of night and the purr of a cat and even my own beating heart.
It’s Him in laughter and tears and a good meal and a warm blanket and an even warmer hug.
It’s Him in hope that exists against all odds, tentative and unsure, but refusing to be squashed.
It’s Him in delight over an infant’s gummy, lopsided smile; or bubbles in the bathtub; or tulip springing from the earth.
And if it’s all Him, if He’s woven through all that we see and feel, if He’s bigger and more present than we can even understand, then I can say to all that’s within me with boldness: “Take Heart.”
Oh, my soul. Be still.
The Lord is on your side.
The Lord is BY your side.
You are loved and held and not ever, not for a single second, alone.