A paradox

My friend “L.” at Do You Weary Like I Do posted a series of quotes by Mother Teresa that really make you stop and think. You should go read her Inspiring Quotes post. (REA.LLY!)
Anyway, one of the quotes jumped right off the screen at me. It is a lesson my heart is learning slowly and sweetly as I traverse the winter days of this new year. It is as if my heart is truly coming out of Winter into Spring, just as our earth does year in and year out.
Mother Teresa said…
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“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” I have found the paradox…
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Christ knew the paradox – if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt… Only the fullest expression of love ever given by a man for His neighbor. He lay His life down so we could not only be called His friend, but co-Heir, Brother, Sister, Son. Christ set the precedent for the paradox.
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You know Abraham in the desert willing to sacrifice Isaac on the altar before God is an exact picture of God’s promised redemption. But, for Abraham it was a means to an end — Sometimes I wonder why Abraham did not plead for his son’s life much the way he interceded for Lot and his family. Those days in the hospital before Justin died, my love was in direct conflict with what my heart realized was happening. I cried out to God for complete restoration, for mercy, for grace, for peace… But my deepest desire was that I would take my son’s place. Give him a chance at life and take mine instead.
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God said that very thing about us. He said, “The action requires death, but I cannot bear to lose them so TAKE MY LIFE INSTEAD.” He gave it up willingly.
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Why do I find it so troubling then to freely express grace and love to those who hurt me? What is it about this flesh I live in that makes me calloused and hard against those who do me wrong? Why can’t I forgive and love unconditionally? I’m limited, human, frail and given to my vain imagination. In short, I am not God. [Thank you, Lord, for that. I fear there would be a whole lot of people suffering because I got mad… You know you feel it, too.]
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So how did Mother Teresa discover this love? By living it every single day of her life. Living selflessly, sacrificially, and fully committed to loving people as God loved her – with Hope-Filled Abandon and Merciful Grace. I don’t want to deify her. She is flesh and blood just like us. But she attained a level of humility and grace that often goes under-noticed and forgotten.
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I want to live like that. Love like that. Love hard, long and fully until there is nothing left of the pain only the love that covers everything in God’s grace. I for one am touched and blessed. I am also reminded of the sinful woman who poured out her oil on the feet of her Lord.
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Who loves more… The one who is forgiven more… She loves much because she was forgiven much. An appropriate end to a week when I examined such a defining moment in my life!

2 thoughts on “A paradox

  1. Wow what a beautiful post! Thanks for mentining me and I am glad that you shared what that quote did to your heart! I want to live that way too…and I fall so short so often. Blessings to you this weekend!

  2. I think we humans all have that same problem. It is HARD to love back someone that hurts you, especially over and over … yet we are commanded to do it. You have the right idea though, praising, praying and pressing through seems to be the key! It really works! The forgiveness just naturally follows … before you know it, you really do love them, even your worst enemy. Wild stuff!

    PS: My daughter uses the same template as you right now! Good taste!

    May our Lord grant you a special touch today 🙂

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