The River and the Bridge IV

We are made for love – to be in it and expressing it. And so we are made for God – to be in God and expressing God. For this to happen God is always inviting us to know God. Indeed we are invited by God to be growing in conscious union with God. For the Christian this means becoming one with Jesus Christ.  This growing in union with Christ is at the heart of Christian spirituality. As this happens we find ourselves giving our hearts, our minds, our lives more and more to the Divine. In this is our greatest happiness. In this we discover how we can love, who we can be.

The movement to union, however, is a movement of trust. Many of us feel great tension and perhaps confusion when a longing for God and life is being experienced concurrently with a fear of what this God and life could do with us. Because of this tension the movement towards union with Christ can at times be filled with uncertainty, fear and anxiousness. We move back and forth between experiences of fear and experiences of Love. This is an understandable dynamic in the dance of human deification. God wants us with God. We struggle and resist. We long for God and are afraid. But God knows our heart and never forces. When we trust enough to say yes, having been worn out enough by our own struggle, something happens: God can show us the desires of our heart and offers saving help so that we may live into them. As we accept God’s saving help, we can grow in relationship and union with the Divine. In this way the living into our heart’s desires also becomes a living into God. And in time we may discover that the desire for God and the desire to know our heart are the same desire. Why is this? It is because the deepest desires of our heart are for a love that only God can provide. God offers this love simply by being God’s self: Love. An opening heart cannot resist the Love it was made for.

The Divine is the profoundest Love – gentle, tender, respectful, ultimate, and faithful. Fear is not divine. In the end there is nothing to fear.

IV

But surly there is logic in discerning life from a distance?

The bridge oversees all and is safe enough,

Away from the river’s murky depths.

And yet –

Is it the place from which to truly live?

Is being safe enough, enough?

What is the greater risk: distance from life or depth in life?

Where does my heart call me?

It calls me to the river below, to the River within.

Fear rises again,

Like the great concrete legs

That rise from the earth keeping the bridge far from the valley.

Fear takes me away, as it often does,

Away to the ‘safety’ of this distance.

And in the safety of the rational only,

Far away from my relational heart,

I stand on the bridge.

But how I hunger for the depths of the River,

To lose fearful awareness at the bottom of You.

To fall past Your shimmering,

And into Love.

I feel my deep longing for You.

And I fear what Love may have for me.

I fear what Love may uncover in my heart,

How life could change when lived with Love.

The experience of fear and the longing for Love

Create anxious tension in me as old as the human walk itself.

What will I lose if I embrace my heart?

Frustration builds and anger flares,

Energies that must be expressed,

Or I will lose myself to blackness.

About Andrew

I am an aspiring contemplative journeying through life practicing a Christian spirituality. I have completed studies in psychology, theology, and counselling. Currently I am in the midst of a masters in theology (specialising in spirituality). I am also an oblate of the World Community for Christian Meditation. View all posts by Andrew

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