Reunions

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The reunion planned back around Easter in the Dog’s Bar in St Kilda between the Butsons, the Pates and me in front of Notre Dame Cathedral at 1100 on the 26th August, has taken place. You’ll see one of the photos with the five of us standing together. It has been great to see members of my tribe. We’ve been catching up, eating together, speculating about the big walk coming up. I’ve loved it.

Those of you who know me well would know that I have a penchant for the quirky, and that I can do just enough magic tricks to be annoying at parties. So I was lucky enough to be shown the Magic Museum here in Paris. Fun times. Now if I could only find the juggling, stilt walking, unicycling and fire eating museums I’ll be set.

A couple of other photos of note, there is a statue of Joan of Arc (again my special crush), one of the Paris versions of the Statue of Liberty and some great early morning photos of the Louvre. Taken had a very unsensible hour, but no people around and great light.

I have been reflecting a lot on the nature of love. Of course being in “The City of Light”, it was only a matter of time. Not only romantic love, although make no mistake this is interesting to me as well, but love for my family, my neighbor, my tribe, humanity.

So, this brings me to a life well lived, at least for me. I know I have been asking the question of others in previous blogs, and received some quite brilliant responses, please keep them coming, but here is one that is important to me.

To love courageously.

There are a few things I have learned over the years (imagine how smart I’ll be when I learn a few more things). Firstly, sooner or later love hurts, I don’t want that to sound bitter or broken, it most certainly isn’t. Indeed the realisation is liberating. What I mean to say is that people will let you down, I let people down, I try not to do it on purpose but I do. It will hurt because people make mistakes, because the ledger won’t always balance in your favour in a relationship, if it does you’re probably not in a healthy relationship. It will hurt because that person might say bad things, they might leave you, they will eventually die, they will fail you. And if you love, you will get hurt. If you love hard it may hurt more.

Having said that, the very nature of love, even a great romantic love, is to put the other person before yourself. I have realised that one of the things I have a tendency to do is to move toward and away from a person according to how much they move away from and toward me. This is fear, some may call it common sense or stewardship of the heart, but I really do think it is fear and with me at the centre. What if I could be free from fear enough to say “I will love you, how you are toward me is no longer a part of the equation of my loving you”. I suspect if I could get past this fear I might even hurt less when someone lets me down.

I wonder if this is what happens to some great loves over time. A couple set out passionate and in love, but one lets the other down who pulls back a bit, then the letter-downer pulls back in response, and so forth. Soon they find themselves in this cool relationship and what was once great is now just a convenience, or worse still a prison.

There is a passage in the bible that says “perfect love casts out fear”. I think that says to me that GREAT love cannot coexist with fear. That fear is a mortal enemy of love.

Of course God knows how to pull off this perfect love business, but we are made in His image, surely I can at least aspire toward this love. I mean really, what have I got to lose? Hopefully I am just giving away fear and ordinary, vanilla flavoured, uninteresting love, and setting out to love amazingly. I am on a pilgrimage after all.

And on that note, my efforts at courageous love to you all. Pray for me on my quest.

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About timeaside

I'm setting time aside to focus on the things I think are important. A life well lived, taking lessons from the past without carrying their burden, hanging out with God and seeing what He has to say about the whole thing.
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12 Responses to Reunions

  1. Jim Unger says:

    We are, in this time, imperfect people loving imperfectly. I am amazed at how surprised I am when some one doesn’t love me perfectly. While reading your words I can see the Father saying, “I will love you, how you are toward me is no longer a part of the equation of my loving you”.

    My favorite song lyric at the moment:
    There is no fear in love.
    There is no self to satisfy.
    There is no argument to win or lose.
    Love goes beyond the mind.
    Love goes beyond all reasoning.
    Love is the path that leads to paradise.

    So for one who is often afraid, I’m learning that love acts, even when afraid. Love chooses to move, even when fear is present. Love breaks through the fear when the choice is made, and not before. And in the process of choosing, I am moved from fear to love.

  2. krystal says:

    Hey Dave,
    This reminds me of a post I just put up in my blog http://krystalw.posterous.com/ titled “the awful gap between goodbye and hello”. I think you are right about needing to be willing to love ‘in spite of”. Hard but rewarding and liberating if you can get there…

    • timeaside says:

      Thanks Krystal, nice read. In actual fact Jim (above), and I were having a conversation very much along these lines not so long ago. That there can be a wound when friends drift out of our lives. May not be peculiar to only those in itinerant families. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Paul says:

    Yeah… its not so easy to be free of fear. Like Jim is saying, it seems we have to choose as if we are free, and hopefully become freer as we go. The Roman Catholics have this wonderful thing called purgatory. Basically the idea is that when we get to the end of our journey in this life, we are going to be carrying a lot of baggage we can’t take with us into the Kingdom, and there are going to be a lot of wounds in our soul that will need healing. Purgatory is the place where you get free of your baggage and find healing for your soul wounds. Then you can go in to the Father’s house. I’m getting to like this doctrine the older I get! But on this side of death, the thing is to be facing the right way. Love is a reciprocal relation where there is safety and security, and that really is what should be there in love, but, as St Paul said, in many ways we all offend (that’s my T-shirt bible quote), so we must expect to fail and to suffer, but we must face the direction of love and the direction of freedom and try to be open to suffering when she comes to us, and in this way we grow into love.

    • timeaside says:

      Not easy, but for me, something to which I aspire, and I know you do too. I love this purgatory concept, the remnants of fundamentalist in me still looks for some kind of scriptural support. Which is not to say that I think only stuff written in scripture takes place….I guess I don’t know what I’m talking about. 🙂 Ignore this post!

      • Paul says:

        Now I know C S Lewis is not holy writ, but ‘The Great Divorce’ is a fantastic imaginative play with the notion of purgatory. The idea that one can actually be damned if one really insists, and the idea that it is a lot harder to enter heaven than our standard evangelical doctrine of cheap grace even recognizes (God will allow no atom of hell to remain in our hearts, though He will never extract it from us without our consent, and we indeed can choose an atom of hell over paradise) I think is just true. The notion of purgatory may be as simple and profound as that. To me the ‘it is appointed to man once to die and then to face judgement’ (Heb 9:27) – the standard fundo line against purgatory – doesn’t seem relevant to ‘The Great Divorce’ or the essential theological insight of the RC notion of purgatory. But, regardless of that, its got to be crazy liberal/superstitious heresy, hey brother…. (!?)

  4. lannalife says:

    It’s been great reading everyones responses. It does remind me of some of the chats we have had Dave in the past.

    I believe that whether we understand what love is will really only tested though the fires of adversity. This is whether the words we use are true to us or just a notion we hope is true. 1Cor 13 is a great standard bearer of what love really is. It’s just so easy for me to say that I love my wife but when something goes wrong and I see her as the reason why it went wrong then I can tell you, my responses are too often not that loving. This is when I realise how shallow my love is and how easy it is to fool myself.

    One thing I am discovering and that is to be loved I must be real and open about who I am. This then helps me in loving the “other” person (my wife, or who ever else). This means exposing my fears, being honest with them and allowing the other to become a part of that and inviting them to help me in my journey. This is what I love about the Catholics (seeing we are mentioning their beliefs!) and their confessionals.

    As one person said, “what you fear is what you are held captive too.” Fear is such an insidious thing that seeps into all aspects of our lives. I do think it’s one of the biggest killers of love. I’m just so grateful Jesus didn’t allow the fear of us rejecting him or disappointing him stop him from dying for us. That’s true love!

    Keep the posts rolling Dave. They have been a great read.

  5. timeaside says:

    Thanks Mate,
    It is a point well made, that kind of openness and honesty and vulnerability really does take courage and really would be an important part of love and being loved. Great stuff, thanks again.

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