Do you remember falling in love?
Do you remember how it is, to be able to spend hours, gazing into the eyes of the beloved? Oh, yeah... you're talking about politics, or pizza, or the movie you just saw. Or maybe you're talking about nothing, just sitting near each other, maybe holding hands, and looking at one another.
Just gazing into one another, stoned on love.
I don't mean I worship my husband. I love him an awful lot--but I wouldn't exactly call it worship. (Though I am inclined to think of him as one proof of the existence of God.)
What I mean is, that sense, that feeling of deep and timeless immersion in the beloved...that's it. That's what happens, on a good day, when I worship.
I arrive, I center down, I look up--or in, or something like that--and there's God. And I just... let go, and look, and love.
Week after week, I feel the most intense relief when I enter meeting for worship. All week long, I struggle with this dilemma or that; I guilt myself out, worry myself sick, and forget what I'm supposed to be doing. It's as if, after worship, I come down off the mountaintop, and the air is thicker and it makes it harder to think and harder to feel. I get lost, and I forget Important things about how the love at the heart of the universe sees us, and how I want to see us, and how it is possible to treat other people.
Or maybe it's like being married for a long time--how you can just forget how amazing the other person, the one you fell so deep in love with, really is. You get caught up in the daily round, and you forget to slow down, find time, and just look: to look into the eyes of this miracle you are married to.
But then there are those moments you get reminded, by joy or by loss or by a certain song on the radio or a certain smell in the air, and it all rushes back. You take your beloved by the hand, or they take your hand, and then... you look up.
And there they are. And you remember that you love them. And you remember the miracle of it, deep down in your bones (not just your heart).
And that's what I mean about worship.
Worship is the time every week when I don't have to be smart, I don't have to be brave, I don't have to be strong, and I don't have to be wise. I have this amazing, unearned gift of being loved without earning or striving or willing things. All I have to do is... look up, and there She is: the Beloved.
And I figure out all over again, that that which I have been yearning for has also been yearning for me. And that which I have been longing for is right beside me, loving me right back.
Oh! I realize. That's right!
I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine!
And for a little while, I can forget the foolishness I lose my way in every week, and remember the miracle. And every time I remember it, I think I'm gradually beginning to remember also how to love a little bit better, and to see just a little more clearly, with a little more grace.
This is what it feels like to be in love with the universe. This is what it feels like to be in love with God.
I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine. What do you know? There it was again! How wonderful... this is what it feels like to be in love.
Seeking the Living Water - [*The message I gave out of open worship at the Friends World Committee for Consultation Section of the Americas consultation in High Point, NC.*] At Fre...