"I will love you like God, because of God, mighted by the power of God. I will stop expecting your love, demanding your love, trading your love, gaming for your love. I will simply love. I am giving myself to you, and tomorrow I will do it again. I suppose the clock itself will wear thin its time before I am ended at this altar of dying and dying again." -Donald MillerThis is how I want to live. With a constant regurgitation of my self, bleeding out the poison of selfishness that blackens my insides to rot. God called us to die because, what we call life, these 75 years or so in which we imagine ourselves to be the center of the universe, is not really life at all. Life is loving, and loving is only possible when we've forgotten about ourselves.
To love is to give yourself and not require anything in return. People have warned me that if I'm not careful, I'll become a doormat. Which is probably true. While I intend to keep my pearls far away from the swine, to love at all is to make yourself vulnerable, and it's inevitable that in your vulnerability you will come across those who take advantage of you.
But have we done any less to Jesus? We greedily cling to the love He offers us, hoarding it up in our hearts to assuage our guilt-ridden fears, then stubbornly resist when He calls us to go into all that world and pour out that love to others. And His response? "Daddy, forgive them. They don't understand what they're doing."
We want to fight for our respect, our dignity, as if the world owes us that. We grant our love to those we have deemed worthy of it, those who seem the least likely to injure it. Little children, our human natures scream self-preservation, but that is not the calling we have received. "Follow Me," Jesus said. Then He went to the cross and died.
But that's not the end of the story. Three days later, Jesus conquered death, and that glorious victory is one He shares with us, a triumph that will always be secure, no matter how many times we lay our selves down on the altar.