From Psalm 95 appointed for today the third day of Lent
Come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
“Cary, we have got to get more people to fall in love with God!” My friend was serious. Her insight was authentic. As my priest and great friend for more than thirty years, she had led many of us into an understanding of spiritual friendship, the kind of agape friendship I was to revisit and live into when I moved to live with my daughter and grandson and joined the Cathedral Church and the magnificent worship and Christian formation classes—all undergirding our common lives in what our amazing Presiding Bishop Michael Curry joyfully proclaims from the pulpit as “The Jesus Movement.”
As I left her apartment that day, I found myself profoundly moved by her remark of “Falling in Love with God.” But honestly, I wondered what did that exactly mean? It’s the kind of question that I love and fully expected to take several years of prayer and reflection. Imagine my surprise when not three days later I had the beginning of an answer—Heaven sent. I was making my bed when I heard myself reflecting, “Falling in Love with Love Itself.” Yes, that’s it! I felt it. Falling in Love with Love itself. I must have repeated it about thirty times not wanting to forget it as it had come to me unbidden.
I have now lived with my friend’s Holy call for several years as our culture propels itself into the future with a complex mixture of anger, fear and even hate. Where is Love in all this? I have found myself challenged to practice that deep and abiding agape Love with rededicated commitment to more consciously strengthen the bonds of Love with others, to deepen my belief in Hope, Faith and Joy as often as I remember during the day.
I am getting better at this practice. Sometimes I even catch myself engaging in agape Love and I love the feeling of knowing what I’m doing! More often, I seem to be increasingly aware of others practicing this kind of wonderful Love, so powerful and healing—a kind look, a gentle smile, an open heart and deep listening ear, a loving question. With these encounters I always go away with a lighter step and heart more ready and willing to take up the work I have been given to do to help make our world a better place.
In this sense, I feel called to practice this “falling in Love with Love” during each precious day of Lent and that I do all I can to make this kind of Love a more manifest part of our common life together. May it be so!
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