Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Life's Tragedy; Part 2, Truth in Love

"If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

"Every person has to define right and wrong for them self."

For the purpose of this discussion truth and freedom are entwined as I believe they are in life and conversation, being that they form the constraining and liberating view we have towards life.

People will attempt to find their own personal expression of freedom/truth where there is lack of constraint and confinement, where there are no limits to the expression of their life, longings and desires. Having said that, most people find a respectable self-limiting view to life and personal freedom that is conducive to amiable relationships with community and fits to a large degree with societal interests. In this lies the argument of a greater truth, an absolute truth, for the large part most people acknowledge the health and well-being of community is founded on behavioural strictures which are judged on the value of human life and the enhancement of that life. Life is viewed as experimentation, risk, error and the management of life as skills, aptitude and growth are nurtured through family and community.

From our current culture we see a view to life which was articulated by Immanuel Kant many years ago, in which he stated an enlightened human being is one who trusts in their own power of thinking, rather than in authority or tradition. This undercurrent of thought has infiltrated the mind-set towards the moral standards of our current culture. The discovery of moral and spiritual reality, truth/freedom, is found in the insistence that it lies within us and not as an external entity which we can investigate and find. Truth/freedom are not to be created, but to be found as we search for it. Instead of insisting that we must have the freedom to create a moral/spiritual reality, we should be seeking to discover and discipline ourselves to live according to a moral/spiritual reality which is not man-made.

The ultimate freedom of which all mankind is about, is the expression of love. It is in concept of love that we find the most problematic paradigms of human thought. The prejudices and assumptions that are made in the name of love are the encapsulated in the human tragedy called life. Love is more than a Village in Saskatchewan, a canal in New York, the passing fancy of a boy or girl, the desire and lust for sex or any strong affection we have towards a need or want. Love is an essential aspect of life, it is more than an intense feeling, it is "... affection, tender and passionate attachment, a sentiment of our nature excited by qualities in a person or thing that command our affection; a virtue of such efficacy that it is said to be the fulfilling of the law. Its absence invalidates all claim to the Christian name. It is the antithesis of selfishness. Luther calls it “the shortest and longest divinity.” It is active, and dissatisfied if not blessing others. Christian love is piety the person's judgment and deliberate choice to love and it is more than just attachment and peculiar personal affection.

In our culture the main focus of love especially with regard to moral freedom is the love of one's self and the freedom to fulfill personal desires without accountability.

The defining aspect of love is that it is the most " ... liberating freedom-loss of all." We must give up independence to get greater intimacy. Perhaps a part must die that another part may live. In this is sacrifice, the greater achievement of love experienced at the cost of personal autonomy. Truth/freedom are found in the selfless expression of love, the deep relationship and mutual concern expressed by sacrifice and devotion to the welfare and concerns of another.

C.S. Lewis was eloquent when he said,
"Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, ... Wrap it carefully ... avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket -- safe, dark, motionless, airless -- it will change. It will not be broken: it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least the risk of tragedy, is damnation."

We all will bear the brunt and travesty of love lost. It is not about the freedom to love but the opportunity to have the freedom to be loved, to open my heart to love of another and to give in love back, without fear.

"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,..."

In this is the greatest example of what can die in a man while he yet breathes. It is far to easy, with the stains and pains of love, for a man to shut up his heart and choose never to feel. In this is the greatest victory of God, that His love surpasses all other expressions of love, by His choice to sacrifice His Son, out of love. In love we adjust to an other's life, we give up our independence to have dependence, a fallible, inconvenient, oppressive, constraining freedom which fulfills life's purpose.

C.S. Lewis was asked once "Is it was easy to love God?" He replied, "It is easy to those who do it?"

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