I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love.
-- Hosea 11:4a
It's funny how we latch on to certain notions about God. Like, God is looking over our shoulder waiting for the slightest misstep in order to punish us. Like, God is judging every thought, every action, and every movement of our lives. Like, God decides to make life miserable for us after we've been enjoying a time of joy and delight. Like, God has standards that we must honor; else we will spend eternity shoveling coal in the hot furnace. With these kinds of understandings about God swirling around in our unconscious mind like a stew being stirred by an overzealous witch, it's not surprising that we have so little desire to know God. We get tired of the old 'guilt' response, and rather than succumb to its pressure, we find it much more pleasant to turn our gaze away from God and attend to our own lives and hope that, in the end, it will all work out to our good.
Just imagine if our unconscious mind did an about-face. What if we tiptoed into the possibility that God actually loves us and desires our best happiness, both in this life and in the life to come? What if we began to trust that God is wooing us, not from guilt, but from love? What if we felt ourselves being drawn towards God with gentle cords, with bands of love? What if we looked at our own capacity for love and remembered that God's love has got to be even greater than our own? We just might find our hearts set on fire, our unspoken longings given freedom of expression, and our souls turned inside out. And in the hushed stillness we might be reborn.
O God, entice me with the love that wakens every sleepy nerve, heals every fractured emotion, and re-stitches every tattered soul. Let me clamor toward that love and be reborn in that embrace.
These meditations by Renee Miller first appeared at explorefaith.org
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