"Like a new parent contemplating a first-born, Yahweh's gaze was riveted upon Jesus, and Jesus insisted, upon each one of us. That experience of God - and Jesus' trust in it - would subsequently shape his entire life" ~Albert Haase, OFM *
What shapes your life?
Not so much the stuff you do - but your general attitude and experience of life? Is it love? Fear? Loss?
Surely, our lives are shaped by a complicated concoction of psychology, dna, and the environments and cultures in which we are raised. I have been shaped as much by love as by rejection - I have experienced both. And I have perpetrated both. The stories that I hear, whether in my spiritual direction space or in recovery rooms, carry a theme: Those who feel stunted and disconnected from God, self and others, at the core, carry an innate belief that they are neither lovable nor deserving of love.
Is that you?
If it is, you're in good company. Sometimes I think that letting myself be loved IS the greatest struggle and the greatest goal of my life journey.
But what if? What if a loving gaze, riveted upon you, was to become the greatest gift that shapes your life?
What if, you could begin to trust that there is One who cannot not be riveted by your beauty and strength: even when you aren't being productive. Even when you have failed. Even when you find yourself wandering and full of doubt. The One who created you is the same Father who said to his son at his baptism, "You are my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased."
How might your life be different if you believed for one moment that you were looked upon with delight from God?
OPENING YOUR HEART
- Take a moment and check in with your body and emotions - did you skim this or find yourself lingering with parts of it? What caught your attention? What did you resist leaning into?
- In what ways do you think God views you?
- What "yeah, but..." if any, did you utter either silently or aloud while considering that a loving gaze is riveted upon you?
- What are the questions that arise in you as you consider love shaping your life?
- As you leave this space, pray "Lord, may I experience your loving gaze today."
If letting love shape your life is something for which you are longing, please just comment below with a "yes." We will pray for you.
Also, we'd love to hear your questions and/or experiences about letting love shape your life. Have you experienced love shaping you (the love of a pet, the love of a friend, the love of God...)?