“God is our clothing. In His love, He wraps and holds us. He enfolds us for love and will never left us go. We are wrapped and held in the embrace of God’s all-pervasive love for each of us, the love that calls us by name, that makes us precious in God’s sight”
– Julian of Norwich
Fall in Love
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
– Fr Pedro Arrupe, SJ
“Truth without love is bitter and can drive the wounded away; and ‘love’ without truth isn’t love at all, but a comfortable form of lying”
– Archbishop Charles Chaput
Today’s post is a story told by Ravi Zacharias in his book Jesus among other gods, the book from which I was quoting last week….
Dr. J Robertson McQuilkin was formerly the president of Columbia Bible College and Seminary. He is one of the most remarkable people in our world. He is a conference speaker and author of note. But none of those credentials exceed his exemplary and heart-gripping love for his ailing wife, Muriel. She has walked down the grim and lonely world of Alzehimer’s disease for the last twenty years. Dr. McQuilkin gave up his presidency and numerous other responsibilities to care for her and to love her. He has penned his emotional journey in one of the most magnificent little books ever written. At one point in the book he recounts this incident:
Once our flight was delayed in Atlanta, and we had to wait a couple of hours. Now that’s a challenge. Every few minutes, the same questions, the same answers about what we’re doing here, when are we going home? And every few minutes we’d take a fast paced walk down the terminal in earnest search of – what? Muriel had always been a speed walker. I had a job to keep up with her!
An attractive woman sat across from us, working diligently on her computer. Once, when we returned from an excursion, she said something, without looking up from her papers… “Pardon?” I asked.
“Oh,” she said, “I was just asking myself, ‘Will I ever find a man to love me like that?’”
What a testimony that is to a great love and to a great hunger. Will any one of us find a love, a selfless love like that? We all recognize a sacred love when we see it, and we long for it. Sacred love is not without boundaries. There are lines that commitment will not cross, because when they are crossed it ceases to be love.
My Dad’s birthday party (2007)
Today’s article is one which I’ve wanted to write for some time. You see, 2015 has been a very eventful year for me, but unfortunately much of it has been less-than-pleasant. In fact, I think I can say without exaggeration that this year has featured some of the most painful experiences of my life. Not least of these events was the death of my father in July. Up until now I haven’t said much about this publicly, but I would like to share a little bit about it today…
I had spent Independence Day with friends on Whidbey Island. It’s a truly delightful part of the world and I had a wonderful time. We spent the day at the pool and had an evening of fine food and board games, followed by fireworks at the beach. The following morning, for some inexplicable reason, virtually everyone in the house rose early and went for a three-mile run. Since it was early on the day after a national holiday, we pretty much had the island to ourselves and in the crisp, early morning air, we passed several deer as we made our tour of the island. It was beautiful.
It was after breakfast that I received a message from my family back in England, asking me to call. A knot formed in my stomach; I had a suspicion as to the reason for this message. I excused myself and went out to my car, where I called my Mum. She confirmed what I had feared: my Dad was dying.
You see, my father had been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma several years before. After several rounds of chemotherapy, his health seemed to be under control, but in recent months things hadn’t been looking so good. Infections had become increasingly common, necessitating numerous speedy trips to the hospital. My Mum said that Dad had suffered yet another infection, but unlike the previous ones, this one was certain to kill him. She told me that the hospital staff said that there was nothing more they could do and that it was unlikely he’d last another twenty-four hours. After hanging up the phone, I composed myself and went back into the house, said my goodbyes and was soon on my way back to Seattle.
This has been my wallpaper for the last few weeks:
“Action expresses priorities”
– Mahatma Gandhi