When Love Calls Your Name (2 of 3)

It was a cold December night when I first met my wife. It was a Christmas party – I showed up with some other girl . . . and Doreen (my wife) who doesn’t drink coffee, brought coffee for everyone else (and that was my first clue). And even though she and I only spoke for a few minutes, she ended up inviting me, through a mutual friend, to a dinner she was hosting at her house, between Christmas and New Year. So as they say, the rest was history – we were married the following May. And we’ve been married now for 35 years. We have 7 kids and 4 grand kids . . . with another one on the way.

That was the night my life was forever changed. I went from being a vagabond poet, living in the wild impermanence of a single life – into a shared path of abiding love with my sweetheart, a woman who has been so completely woven into my life, that I can no longer clearly identify exactly where I end and she begins. I guess you could say, that December night, was a night that love called my name, pulling me into another dimension, making my life much larger than the life I was living. But that is the way of love, it is unconstrained, and will not be domesticated . . . as if it could somehow fit into the small life it originally finds us living.

Love is a powerful thing—it will take you to extremes. With love, you’ll experience the greatest of joys, and invariably, you will experience the deepest of sorrows. But here’s the thing — more often than not, we are hardly ever prepared for what love is actually calling us to do. Because we falsely assume that we can have our own agenda with love . . . as if love had no agenda of it’s own. When we define love as getting everything we want — then it really isn’t love at all . . . because real love is incapable of being selfish.

AdobeStock_144177491_webEven the person with a healthy appreciation for self-love doesn’t subscribe to a selfish love, as much as they practice a form of self-identifying love – correctly identifying themselves as the beloved of God, as one who bears his image. For they know that love has been calling their name long before the foundations of the world, and it is that very love resonating within them that they have identified. Because love set apart from the ineffably transcendent truth, that God is love, is nothing more than a meaningless self-indulgence pretending to be something more.

St Benedict is said to have pondered – what could be better than to have the Lord call your name? Because it is a profound intimacy, to be known, and to be loved in just this way. This is the very love that took Christ to the cross, so that he could reconcile us to himself – becoming the love story, by which all other love stories are measured. So yea, that’s love calling your name – are you ready to allow it to forever change your life? But before you answer that, remember — there really isn’t an option where it doesn’t.

“I threw the dice when they pierced his side
— but I’ve seen love conquer the great divide”


2 thoughts on “When Love Calls Your Name (2 of 3)

  1. First, I have to laugh because when I saw your post on Facebook about this blogpost, the title instantly started the song that you have at the end, playing in my head.
    Second, and more to the point. I enjoyed this very much because it talks about something that I kind of realized a few years ago but it puts it into words. Some of this you already know but I have no idea how much.
    I will keep it short.
    I have been disabled for the last 3 1/2 or 4 years. I have received disability but only after 3 years or so of arguing with Social Security. During that time, Lori and I have gone from doing fairly well, to being beyond broke. I’ll leave out all the details but suffice it to say, me being disabled changed our life profoundly. Good news is, we’ve gotten through all that and are recovering financially, although we’ve had to make some very hard decisions.
    Let me loop this back in.
    Lori and I wandered into a conversation about our circumstances and I thanked her for sticking it out through some very tough times. Times that tried us both and could have certainly tried our relationship except that Lori never waivered. As we talked, I realized that though we had some times of discord, I never once seriously thought that I would lose Lori.
    I know, Greg, you know Lori and you’re saying to yourself, ” You should never have even wondered about that with Lori.” I agree.
    I apologize if this is long and disjointed.
    After our conversation, I thought more and more about the fact that Lori never waivered. One thing that came to my mind was, that kind of love was beyond any I had ever experienced……except Jesus’. And that made me understand better the love that Jesus has for us. I had thought I understood it before but our expreince the last couple of years, allowed me a way to understand it better.
    One more way that the last few years have turned out to be such a blessing, though one that was certainly difficult to understand at the time.
    Love will call your name and if you are blessed enough to recognize it and answer, it can make all the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

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