Thursday, June 07, 2007

love is a risk

I'm reading a book called "The Beautiful Risk" by James Olthuis right now, and I'm really enjoying it. A lot of what he says in it is stuff that I have been trying to express without much success, so it's been refreshing to read my thoughts expressed clearly. And also a lot more thought out and expanded upon.
I just read a chapter which was about "Understanding Ourselves: Love is Who We Are" and thought I'd pop up a few quotes. Or just long sections. We'll see :)

"God is love, and humans are made in God's image. Love, then, is who we are--love's agents. God is the giver, we are the gifted, love is the gift. God is the caller, we are the called, love is the calling.
This is what I mean by the gift/call structure of humankin. Being and becoming lovers--the gift of being human and the call to become human--happen together, inextricably, simultaneously in a process of being and becoming. To be human is quintessentially to be and to become a love--a lover of God, neighbor, self, and world...
Not only do we seek love, but love seeks us. Not only do I know love, but love knows me. We love even as we are loved. To be human is to participate actively in God's movement of love that is happening in the world. We are agents of love called to love, and called by love."

"In this way, loving--receiving and giving love--is not something, first of all, that we do. Love is who we are, as gift and call, as passion to be lived out. It is in love (or not loving) that we are (or are not) human. It is in heeding the call of love--in making life-affirming connections--that we become human...Loving is of the essence of being human, the connective tissue of reality, the oxygen of life."

"Our spiritual interconnectedness with God means that to be a human person is to be a self-in-faith --that is, a self centered in faith rather than in self, a substance, an ability, or a role. The secret of our existence finds its origin and home in the mystery of God's gift of love, which is known through faith."

"Needless to say, the fact that we are interrelational beings defined by process only underlines just how fragile and exposed we are. We depend on our interaction with others and with creation to stay alive and become ourselves. That very interdependence makes us susceptible to injury and harm. To be alive is to be vulnerable--but how do we stay open, yet protect and hold on to ourselves at the same time?"

I think that last sentence stuck out to me the most. It's kind of a paradox...desperately wanting to live, really live, yet understanding and fearing the risks.

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