In HOPE

  In HOPE 6.5                                  back to home                        David Timms

Ministry Resource

I pulled an old book off my shelf again this week and was blessed again. If you've not read Eugene Peterson's The Wisdom of Each Other (Zondervan, 1998), you'll find this short book of fictitious letters to be a delightful and insightful guide to spiritual formation.   

 Hope Happenings

On March 16-18, 2006 Hope will present several performances of Godspell, a dynamic presentation of the Gospel according to Matthew. Information is available on the University website at www.hiu.edu .

 

 

Hope International University
Fullerton, CA 92831

 

"When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, and becomes at home and mature in us ..." ( 1 John 4.16-17a, The Message)


Yet I Love

"In no other human experience do we fail so frequently, get hurt so badly, suffer so excruciatingly, and get deceived so cruelly as in love."

All of us know the pain of love. Parents who split up, a broken marriage of our own, a close friendship gone sour, or betrayal by someone we trusted. The wound cuts deep because love matters so much. It's our most fundamental DNA.  

Yes, the word love may rank among the most dressed up, messed up, and misused words in our vocabulary. Yes, we have some strange ways to seek it and odd ways to express it. Yes, we all have different expectations attached to it. But love distinguishes us from the machines that culture wants to make of us.

Valentine's Day was this past Tuesday. Red hearts, stuffed teddy bears, cheap chocolates, and Hallmark cards raked in millions of dollars for the manufacturers - exploiting our attraction to love like moths to a flame. Despite our poor track record, love continues to promise so much. Even the bolted doors of some broken hearts may have creaked open - ever so briefly - to peek out, in hope.

I regularly fail in love. When love would listen, I speak. When love would forgive, I keep score. When love would congratulate, I begrudge. When love would be gentle, I am harsh.

Then, when I think it would be simplest to close my heart - to isolate it and protect it - I find the door pushing itself open again. Just when I decide that relationships are too complicated and people too unpredictable, I realize those words describe me best. Just when the pain feels unbearable and the wound feels unhealable, love itself becomes the balm.

So we love. We must. We love, not because it's easy but because it gives life.

We love not just those who like us, but those who are created like us ... the friendly and the fickle, the gracious and the ungrateful, the humorous and the hurtful. Not by discipline or sheer determination. Nor through will-power or mutual affection, but as a response, because He first loved us (1 Jn 4.10, 19) and His love compels us (2 Cor 5.14).

Love is one of the slipperiest words in the language, yet it remains the foundation for life. Take my money, force me to change careers, delete my email ... but let me love. And He does.

Amazingly, Jesus keeps saying that to me. "Yet I love!"

In HOPE -

David

Want to chat more on a topic? Hit "Reply" and share your thoughts.

If you have received this e-publication from family or friends and would like to subscribe to "In HOPE" simply email djtimms@hiu.edu and write "Subscribe to In HOPE" in the subject line. This is a free service, with no advertisments and no sharing of the e-list. Unsubscribe in the same way.

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.

For back issues of In HOPE, see http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/