I want to start off with a few great quotes from the book i am currently reading, ” Soul Cravings ” by Erwin McManus…
“We’re all afraid to expose our souls to those who might judge us, and at the same time, we desperately need help to guide us on this journey.
” Bitterness is the enemy of love because it makes you unforgiving and unwilling to give love unconditionally. It is the enemy of hope because you keep living in the past and become incapable of seeing a better future.”
“From the notes that ive made so far, love seems something like wanting a scar.”
“The more you love someone, the more capacity you have to come to hate him or her.”
“The only people who can hurt you deeply are the ones you allow to get deep inside your soul…this is what makes love so dangerous. The more you love someone, the more that person can hurt you.”
Within this past week, my church found out that our pastor had been involved in an extramarital affair with the head church administrator. And as common as it probably is, I still feel numb..as if i’m going to wake up and this was all just a bad dream. I’ve been going to Westside for about 2 1/2 years, and interned there this summer where I had some amazing experiences and truly encountered God in ways I never have. But even after that, I have friends who saw both individuals on a regular day-to-day basis because they are on staff at Westside. And I know others who have gone to Westside for a lot longer than I have, and even know a guy who is the youth pastor at my hometown church who used to intern with Westside’s youth for almost two years. I can’t imagine how they hurt. This pain is so real. I also have a frienship thats been having a lot of “off-days” lately. Things just aren’t clicking like they once were. The wall is growing larger between us, and we both feel alienated from the friend we once confided in, were crazy with, and supported through thick and thin. We both feel alone, confused, hurt, frustrated, and as if we’ve never met the person we’re staring in the face. I dont bring up either of these situations to publicize them, but i bring it up because the words of Erwin McManus ring so very true in both of these situations.
The pain is so real is because love is dangerous . We trusted, we respected, we rallied with (and still rally for), we worked with, we learned from, we grew with, we supported, we laughed with, we admired, we but most importantly, we loved . We feel betrayed, confused, numb, and hurt. And we hurt because we love. “The only people who can hurt you deeply are the ones you allow to get deep inside your soul…this is what makes love so dangerous. The more you love someone, the more that person can hurt you.” We have opened up our lives, hearts, and souls to these people. Being hurt is okay. Being mad, frustrated, and sad is okay. But we can’t forget that we got to this place of pain, because we loved. We must continue to keep on loving. ” Bitterness is the enemy of love because it makes you unforgiving and unwilling to give love unconditionally. It is the enemy of hope because you keep living in the past and become incapable of seeing a better future .” We will get through this. It will take time, we will have to go through the healing process. But we will be healed. We will be renewed. “…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31.
I do not want to leave you hanging on McManus’ words thinking that his book is depressing or a downer. This is the good news. “Given all the problems love can create, why do we keep longing for it?…Its as if we’ve been purposefully designed with a factory defect that keeps us searching for love…we all crave love. It is as if we are searching for a love we have lost. Or perhaps more strangely we are searching for a love we have never known but somehow sense it awaits us….The most powerful evidence that our soul craves God is that within us there is a longing for love .” We can not forget that GOD is love. We must run from evil, cling to what is good…we must avoid hate, bitterness, hopelessness. We’ve got to love! If we want to people who look like Christ, we have to love…in the hard times, in the frustrating times, in the the doubt and despair.
The future? I dont know. But i am not giving up on hope. Our God is bigger and better than any mess we’re in. God IS Love. And as dangerous as Love is, I’d rather follow Love than anything or anyone else.