Living, Loving and Learning Part I
"The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth."1
A popular song from back in the '60s or '70s by Burt Bacharach was: "What the world needs now is love, sweet love / It's the only thing that there's just too little of / What the world needs now is love, sweet love / No not just for some but for everyone."
Only those embittered and disillusioned by failure in love would disagree with those words. We were created for loving relationship, without which we limp along in the shadows of life eking out a lonely existence. And even while living with others such people may live together alone apart—and die a little every day.
It may not be most desirable, but we can live without romantic relationships, but we cannot live healthily nor can we get our love needs met without being in at least one—and hopefully—several healthy relationships.
Furthermore, we can only love and be loved to the degree that we are known. As long as I hide behind a false mask, no matter how attractive and likable that mask may be, I will never feel loved, because my mask is not me. That's the person I'm pretending to be. Only real people find real love. What is more, only real people can experience a real relationship with God. I simply cannot feel close to God or anybody else as long as I hide behind a false mask.
Moreover, as Sydney Jourard wrote some years ago in his book, The Transparent Self, "Every maladjusted person is someone who has not made himself known to another human being and in consequence he does not know himself. Nor can he be himself. More than that, he struggles actively to avoid becoming known by another human being. He works ceaselessly at it day and night. And it is work!"
So to be healthy physically, emotionally and spiritually—and to find loving relationships—we need to come out of hiding and be real.
So how do we do this?
To be continued …
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be honest and real with myself and with you so that I will know and experience feeling close to you and learn how to find and experience loving relationships. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Psalm 145:18 (NIV).