Captivated by Love
Have you ever noticed that all exclusive relationships can appear stifling from the outside perspective? It is only in the relationship, inside: where the love is felt and experienced, that the exclusivity transitions from stifling to safety, from confined to freedom. In a marriage, it is the exclusivity that speaks to the deepest love. It is the exclusivity that brings the greatest emotional freedom and security as it makes safe vulnerability possible.
Even in our walk with the Lord we find this to be true. From the outside, it can look like merely stifling rules and regulations. It is only from inside this relationship where all of that disappears, moves to the background, as we fall deeper and deeper in love. It is when we have come to a place of transitioning from acquaintances to inseparably intimate friends that exclusivity is welcomed as all we want in life. Where others may become offended by the words of the Lord and turn away, we cry out with Peter in an expression of devotion, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
One of my personal favorite analogies in the Old Testament is in Exodus 21. The Lord is giving out laws on how to deal well with slaves and solve some of the predicaments that come up. He says, “But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master… and do not want to go free,’ then his master… shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.” (vv. 5-6) This might sound kind of odd on the surface, but I find it a beautiful picture of that transitional decision to not just serve God because we must, but to serve Him because we want nothing but Him.
Our hearts have been captured, not against our will, but captured by a love so complete that we simply cannot resist. We have experienced other loves – loves that left us empty and wanting, loves that promised to warm us, but left us colder than when we came. We’ve experienced the selfish loves, the grasping loves, the domineering loves, the fading loves, the passive loves, the distracted loves. We have experienced the imperfections of love, but every imperfection only served to point out that we can’t find what we’re looking for in humans, but only in God. This love we long for is available, our hearts know it must be so.
We were birthed out of the very heart of God’s love. He conceived us and created us and now our wandering hearts search to reconnect with that love and the One who is Love. When we find Love and our hearts grow in trust, we then cry out, “I’m Yours!” We place our hearts in the hands of this Perfect Love. We allow the awl to pierce us, to mark us as His own. We choose the discomfort of growth over the illusion of safety that remaining in our shell would give. Every part of our broken selves we can trustingly surrender now.
“For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.” Psalm 36:9