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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bold Love

It was published in 1992, and the copy I own has passed through many hands evidenced by the broken spine, the numerous underlinings and markings, and the address of someone I don't know stickered to the front inside cover. But I plan to read this book at least once a year because I want it to shape my life.

Bold Love has so radically altered my grasp of God's love for me that I can only worship Him.

The book could be divided into two parts.

The first part emphasizes the two coping mechanisms that we've perfected in response to the fall: lust and anger. God Himself wrestles with us to bring us back to His loving heart. This is what the entire story of Scripture is about. God pursuing sinners to restore them to Edenic beauty.

The second part deals with how to love boldly in relationships. Grace and truth must neither one be compromised if we are to create in others the thirst for God that will lead them back to the reason for their existence: bearing the Image of God. Love is much more complex and redemptive than I could hope and much greater than I am able to live out. Only the Christ life inside me can make this happen.

When I had read the first half, I wrote this pantoum to give shape to the inexpressible weight I felt about it. I don't have anything written about the second half of the book, so you'll just have to read it. :) 

Bold Love

Life is complicated. Things get broken.
Among the wreckage of our human lives
we fall in shock and wonder if You've spoken.
We will rebuild and struggle to survive

among the wreckage of our human lives.
We hurl heavenward our angry shouts
and build instead, in hopes they will survive,
plastic Edens, half-formed, from our doubts.

Heaven, mute, absorbs our angry shouts
and Love gives nothing as a form of aid
to build our plastic Edens. Who can doubt
the debt You owe us, yet have never paid?

You call this Love that You withhold the aid
which would, we think, more quickly soothe the ache?
We scream, "You owe us much!" for we have paid
in human heartache for Your sake.

The Silent God, who does not soothe our ache
with anything but His own blood and death
and takes on human heartache for our sake,
can give no more and will give nothing less.

Since nothing but Your blood paid for our death,
we fall in silent shock and wonder. You have spoken.
We need no more and we would die for less.
Life is complicated. We are broken.

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