13 // Rest in the Love
'Love is patient, love is kind ... It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.' 1 Corinthians 13.4-8
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Just occasionally, you feel glad to have looked on social media. Yesterday, I saw a brief clip of the actor Sir Ian McKellen, in conversation for a podcast, and he really made me think. He spoke with a kindly smile, and began to well up, especially as he came to say the phrase, “I’m home” …
“If you ever arrive in Manchester,” he said, “and you come down the steps at Piccadilly station … and if you’re lucky enough to be able to afford a taxi, you get in the back of one, and the taxi driver says, ‘Where are you going to, Love?’
“And I feel I’m home,” he said, “where grown men call strangers ‘Love.’” I think if we all did that, it would be a far better place, wouldn’t it?’ he reflected.
‘“Love” covers everything, really. Just call everyone ‘Love’.”
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Well, as a buttoned up southerner, I’m not quite ready to call the postman "Love" yet.
But I can at least think it, and mean it. And so if it’s you I happen to be greeting today, I promise to see you as Love, and to greet you in my heart with Love, and to do my very best to help you feel you're somehow home -
wherever you've come from, wherever you're going, whatever you call yourself, whatever you've been called, however much you think you're worth, or not, whatever your circumstances, whatever you believe, or don't.
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We are able to love, of course, 'because God first loved us' (1 John 4.19). And it follows that we need God's love to help us to celebrate, not just tolerate, all our otherness and difference. I've been helped by what Richard Rohr says in this regard (his words conclude a meditation on love I've linked to below).
He says: 'Rest in the Love that loves both you and the other, and loves to transform all into its loving image.'
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I like to think that Mary might have greeted Jesus, at his birth, in that kind, warm Manchester way. “Hello, Love. Welcome to the world!” And to picture Jesus gazing back, resting in the Love that loves them both, and feeling like he's home.
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May you rest in the Love, today.