Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dearly Loved

Dearly Loved
Jimmy Needham

Please lay down your arrows
For they're sure to pierce the skin
And water from a broken well
Will make you thirst again
When all things you've acquired
Are tested by the flames
And you can see them melting
Then will you call his name

It's worth it brothers
It's worth it friends
To know your maker
To lose your sin
Did you know that you are dearly loved

To the slaughters you are being led
Being told that it's a party
That this God is in your head
And every single lie
Sounds just like the greatest truth
But the one truth you're not hearing
Is that he died for you

No greater joy
No greater peace
No greater love than this

It's worth it brothers
It's worth it friends
To know your maker
To lose your sin
Did you know that you are dearly loved

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved.
Ephesians 2:4-5

Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.
Psalm 63:3-4

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
1 John 3:1a

"When I hear people talking about love like it's the latest, greatest flavor of cotton candy, I get very nervous and suspect we are not talking about the same thing."
Jen Lee

This is a new favorite song of mine, moving me to tears because of the reality of its truth. My dear sister Sarah sent me this last quote a couple weeks ago and it deeply resonated with my heart. I feel that love is one of the most misunderstood and shallowly represented constructs within our world. And the thing that astonishes me the most is that people seem to be okay with that. The devasting thing is that when I try to describe love to other people, I find that my proclamation of this truth leaves much to be desired. Yet I look around me as see people, as C.S. Lewis did, happy to be playing with "love mud pies" when a holiday in a sea of love is afforded to them. And I have to conclude with him that we are "far too easily pleased."
Recently the university I work at had an essay contest among the faculty called, "Why I Teach." As I pondered when or not to submit something I thought back and forth about why I teach, why I lead, etc. It's not because I have vast amounts of knowledge to impart or am even close to being able to use my life experiences as vicarious sources of learning. It is because I believe that the greatest, sweetest truth that everyone needs to learn is that they are DEARLY LOVED - specifically, intentionally, uniquely, dearly loved by God. And I believe so strongly that anything that is truth will point to this life altering, soul filling reality. So I teach the truth I know and I lead for change that eliminates lies and darkness because people must know that they are dearly loved.
My life has been a learning laboratory for love, and I hope that it continues to be. One reason that the truth of love is so difficult to articulate is because it's often deeply felt rather than only cognitively processed. The limbic system in our brains (bear with me here) is the physical seat of our emotions and drives. It is full of feeling and not rationality, passion and not logic. And it isn't anywhere near our brain's cortex (where cognition is processed) or Broca & Wernicke's areas (where we develop language and the articulation of our ideas). And so in my little life laboratory, when I see or hear or read or look at something that can connect the all of those areas in my head and empower passion with knowledge and ignite logical truth with fervor, I most often just start crying. Because what my heart felt as true and my mind knew as true connect and fill my soul with the light of truth. And almost always that truth is that I am dearly loved, incredibly unworthy, and miraculously redeemed.
Last night, Pat Terenzini in his opening remarks at our conference said that learning or education is "not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." So while I still feel that my words above are shallow and disjointed, I guess my observation and question to you is this. We are all learning and teaching and following and leading, but what fire are you spreading? Because, in case you didn't know my brothers and sisters... are SO DEARLY LOVED! 

1 comment:

Dirt Poor Chic said...

Megan, that sentiment has been one of the few things that has pushed me through thick and thin. And you were usually the first one to verbally remind me. :)


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