Learning to love as God loves, requires that you see yourself as God sees you, flaws and all. It also affords you the perspective of seeing others through God’s eyes, to some degree. It gives you an appreciation for the faulty construct of those around you and see them with love, compassion and acceptance. Very much like the God who made us all, there is an ease in how we can take people as they are and love them unconditionally just that way. But, in the quest for a deeper relationship with them, just like the God who made us all, we love them too much to let them stay that way.
Knowing full well that we are not the source of change, it is our desire to, at the very least, be that catalyst for the desire to change.
The ‘appearance-minded’ person doesn’t always take this well. It is upsetting to them that they have been, ‘found out.’ At times, it will cause them to retreat from their relationship with an ‘unconditional lover’. It can cause them to reject the ‘unconditional lover’ for the safety of other ‘appearance minded’ people that won’t challenge them on the deeper things.
This puts the ‘unconditional lover’ in the untenable position of experiencing something, they have most certainly prayed for without completely understanding its depth and danger.
I have prayed, like many unconditional lovers, for God to, “Break my heart with the things that break Your heart.” When it first comes out of your heart and mouth to pray that kind of prayer, it almost sounds romantic. It is full of passion to feel God’s heart for the lost and the dying and the displaced. Your heart is to help anyone that God would send into your path, with a meal or a word of encouragement. You expect to build a house, work in a soup kitchen or serve in a shelter somewhere.
But what happens when you realize the things that really break God’s heart are closer to you than any of those things?
Three times I have loved and lost. Not because I made mistakes, nor that I even lived so “perfectly.” But because I saw my loves and loved them, flaws and all, unconditionally. Because I saw their flaws and forgave them, even though often, they could not forgive me of my flaws or themselves of their own. Because my seeing them for their flaws without judging or condemning them defied their expectation of love. For me to not only acknowledge their mistakes and how much it hurt me but to still choose to be in relationship with them, was completely contrary to what they themselves would have done, had the tables been turned. In a couple of instances, the tables WERE turned and I was summarily condemned, over and over.
The choice to accept the forgiveness and make attempts to be restored gets rejected. Instead of taking their ‘unforgivable’ acts to the Lord together, in a willingness to make more beneficial choices that would glorify the God that made us all, they resorted to maintaining the appearance of rightness. Which meant that they resolved to surround themselves with people who would not ask the hard questions and shine a light on the darkened places. They chose a life in the virtual shadows. They rejected that unconditional love.
Each time, in the devastation of my broken heart, I cried out to God to ask why I, who by most accounts am a pretty good woman, would be forced to endure such rejection. And, each time, in the softest, kindest, most gentle, loving voice, I heard my Father say, “Because you asked me to.”
It truly shakes one’s foundation when we realize that one of the things that breaks the heart of God like nothing else, is when His forgiveness of our sins and His offer to make us “Again Another” is rejected only for us to be satisfied in our mess and surrounded by people who are willing to keep our secret sins secret, in exchange for not being ‘found out’ themselves.
Oh, how it breaks the heart of God, that we believe it’s better to live the life we think we can get away with, because we think nobody is watching!