Friday, March 30, 2012

love anyways

It’s kind of amazing to me that you can know someone your whole life, even be related to them, yet know so very little about them.

As I sit here at my laptop this evening, full of red wine and pasta, I remember that today is my dad’s birthday. Or is it so I think. Every year I second guess myself, is it the 30th or the 31st? Tonight, I took to googling my dad and finding that there is a record of my dad being 66, which would make his birthday today. Great, problem solved. I send a text shortly after wishing him a happy birthday and wonder about calling. The fact that I wonder about calling my dad on his birthday makes me so very sad. I hardly know him. He hardly knows me.

My heart sinks and I know this is not how it’s supposed to be. Family is a tighter unit, at least my definition of it is and I wonder how this piece of my family has drifted so far. I was thinking about a sermon I heard a couple weeks ago. Our pastor talked about the love of God as being a love that initiates. I have such a hard time initiating love. How will I know that my love will be returned? What if I am hurt? Those are the questions that stop me from initiating love and the very ways in which I wish I could love more like Christ loves. I guess that’s where I am for a reason and that is precisely what I am learning these days in this here rainy city. How do I love despite the great risk. It’s easy to love when I feel confident of someone’s love for me but impossibly difficult to love in a moment when I doubt or question that love. I am thrown back to the beginning. Love anyway. Trust anyway. Love because you were first loved, not by a mere human, full of flaws and imperfection and fears, but by a mighty God who knew He would be rejected by many and yet, still He loved.

Instead of hoping for a fatherly love that initiates. I want a heart that will love anyways, that will love first, even if it feels impossible.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sometimes, you just need to see the ocean

The ocean has always scared me. I love it but it scares me.

I love the water. I can’t live without it. I’ve always said, I would never live where there was no water nearby. I grew up on an island surrounded by water in the middle of the Puget Sound with coves and coastlines every which way. However, the Puget Sound never scared me*. It was a protected body of water or at least confined by cities and towns. It wasn’t unpredictable and wild like the ocean.

The ocean, I have always loved from afar, or merely from the shore, just my toes in the water. The giant waves and stories of rip tides and jelly fish always terrified me. It was all very unknown and unpredictable. Even now, the ocean scares me, but I still need it; I still crave it. I have days, fairly often too, when I wake up and I just need to see the ocean and be near it. When I can, I just jump in my car and go. I don’t know what exactly it is in me that needs to see the ocean, but seeing it up close soothes me. Maybe it’s seeing nature in all its fury and power, being reminded that this life is not mine to control and resting in a power much greater than myself.

I woke up the other morning with this quote running through my head.

“Love is tricky. It is never mundane or daily. You can never get used to it. You have to walk with it, then let it walk with you. You can never balk. It moves you like the tide. It takes you out to sea, then lays you on the beach again. Today's struggling pain is the foundation for a certain stride through the heavens. You can run from it but you can never say no. It includes everyone.” –Amy Tan

That part about being moved like the tide, being taken out to sea and laid on the beach again, that resonated with me all day. Love is just like that. I am finding parallels more and more often lately between the ocean and love and God. I love the ocean. I love God. I love love. I need those things but at the same time I fear them with all that I have in me. I can’t predict any of them. There is a power in all three that I can’t ignore and it scares me but at the same time I find comfort in knowing it is not my role to control them. Each one has the power to take me out to sea and lay me back upon the shore. Just like there are times when I need to see the ocean, there are times when I need to be loved and I there are times when I need God (which let’s be honest, is all the time).

It's not easy being moved by something more powerful than myself and it's scary. I can't predict when the tide will pull me out or lay me on the shore. Yet, I still choose it. I hope I always do.

I trust that it's building something greater in me and shaping me more into the woman I am created to be.

"A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for." Grace Murray Hopper

*Though, I will forever be terrified of the largest documented octopus in the world, which is said to live in the Puget Sound (shudder).