Over the past few weeks, I have been reminded repeatedly that “God is madly in love with you.” The message comes from scripture,  from the Cursillo movement,  from homilies and if I let it, from prayer. At first blush it is a comforting and exciting message.

Quite frankly, it is a frightening message to me. So often, I don’t want to be loved that much. If God loves me that much, and I accept it, how can that not call me to change? If God loves me that much, and I fall in to it, I must surrender and move forward in complete trust. And if I do that, I will be transformed in ways I don’t even know. Not sure I’m yet willing to do this.

Brother David Stendhl-Rast has suggested that “sin” might better be termed separation or isolation, and “grace” as belonging. In those terms, my “sin” is my unwillingness to be loved in this deep, transforming way. Yes, at times I move toward it — and I can think of once or twice when I believe I actually gave in and fell in to it. And, yes, those were moments where my life and my way of looking at life made some pretty sharp turns. Looking backward, I realize that these turns and changes are really “good things.”

So, why am I fearful? The Unknown and letting go are difficult for me. I can only ask that I be gifted with a call to this Love that is stronger than my own unwillingness to let go of myself and my perceived control. I take baby steps. I try to see through the eyes of Christ in one situation at a time. If I think of each of these situations or relationships as a piece in a 2000 piece jigsaw puzzle, then each time I am able to let go, it’s like finding a piece that fits. You put it into the puzzle, and slowly, piece by piece, the entire picture of God’s love is revealed.