We Share One Life, We Are One Life
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*Heaing Touch of Beauty, Gail K Piland, Flickr
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The Love that wounds is
the Love that heals
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Bonnie was my first love. We began dating shortly after I finished high school. I had not dated much before, as my life was given to ministry in Christian churches, and, also, I was very shy about girls and socially shy generally.
When Bonnie broke up with me, for she was not ready to have a monogamous relationship, I was heart-broken, deeply wounded. My mind was obsessed with Bonnie for many months. What made it worse was that she and I started attending the same college. I could not avoid seeing her. I could not escape feelings that I still had for her.
I prayed to be free of this wound of love. The ache, however, persisted over many months. And Bonnie seemed to have continued life free of wounding. Not I. All my prayers seemed to no avail.
I was surprised one day that, mysteriously, there was no feeling of the hurt. I felt as though during sleep the night before, it was as though someone said, "'Enough,' and had come and closed up the wound, pouring salve over it, and breathing Peace upon it."
The Bonnie wound never opened again, the pain was over. Many years later, while dining in the town where she lived and where I had started serving as pastor of three small churches nearby, I met her. We talked, smiled, and laughed. I was glad to see her, and she seemed so to me, also. There was no pain. Even after this I would have dreams of her, but the dreams were not about her, but of a dream to have that kind of sense of love for a woman again. In time I came to see that what I had with her was an initiation into the youthful passions that must precede, for most of us, any hope at a true, lasting love. I am thankful, now thirty-six years later, for that experience and the gift she gave me of her time and attention.
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I sit in waiting with
this familiar Silence, alone, again.
Solace takes wings to fly
and finds a way out, temporarily.
A wound opens up wider
with the new departure.
Memories walk through, slowly,
leaving bloodstains on the floor.
Shadows creep in and
a bud drops, now in decay.
Darkness settles in,
while light recedes behind clouds outside.
A swarthy shroud
rests over a bereft heart.
I am a man alone;
with all, God alone is Here.
May my tears
descend to wet the bruised seeds of hope.
A new growth maybe will arise to
herald the coming of another Spring.
*Brian K. Wilcox. An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love. "Another Spring."
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Possibly, the wounding of love is part of the Jesus story. The Cross signifies what Love must do to us each, before we are prepared to share in Divine Grace with others at a mature, aware level. Possibly, the glorification of the Cross as an event in the past and turning it into a doctrine has hindered many seeing the practical, daily wisdom and deep, universal significances of the Cross for all of us, Christian and persons of other faiths, or of no faith.
So, while my central message is Love, or Grace, I do not use the words lightly. The way of Grace is as much strewn by blood-drops as scented with roses. We see the Rose, the consummation of sweet, satisfying Love, but the hymen that blocks the entrance of True Love must be broken. Penetration is possible, then - a lesson central to Christmas and the story of the impregnation of Mary by Spirit. Our virginal innocence must submit to the grief of lost love. Wounding is the way to the penetration of Grace and the bliss of Union.
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The classic book on Grace is Cheap Grace. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote it, stressing the difference between Grace that demands our all and "grace" that is seen as a free gift that costs us nothing. Bonhoeffer witnessed to the costliness of Grace; he was executed for opposing the Nazi regime. He was living in the United States, but returned to be with his people in its travail. Possibly, we could speak, then, of cheap love, a "love" that seeks the delights of Love and Communion apart from the fiery wounds inflicted by Love to draw us more deeply into Love. And, possibly, my experience with Bonnie was a beginning class for me in Costly Love, a message with deep resonances within us each of the truth of Love, of Grace, and Its ways in redeeming us all from our false or lesser loves into the bountifulness of Life.
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We are each a lovely, pure Rose, in the Garden of Grace.
The Sacred in Me bows to the Sacred in You