What do our hearts desire most?
To be loved.
If we wage war and conquer our adversaries and have not love, it is meaningless. If we gain the whole world but have not love, it is futile. If we conquer the greatest of quests and do not have love, it’s utterly forlorn. If we do this life right and follow all the rules but have not love, it is pointless.
If we give away all that we have and offer our bodies up to the flames but have not love, we gain nothing.
We search for it as though it is a lost treasure. We seek it as though it is a rare gem. We live and die for it as though it is a valiant sacrifice that we are more than willing to make but where is this love? This love that fills us to the brink, so we thirst no more.
Wars have been waged for it. Seas have been crossed for it. A million songs have been sung about it but where is it? Where does this all-completing love hide? This fleeting love that we search the world over for. This vapor we cannot grab ahold of. Once we think we have it, it vanishes.
It is as though we put on our full armor and move towards a quest that something unknowingly powerful calls us to. As though, we take a deep breath, leap of faith, and cross over the impossible ravines to find this missing piece.
We were created for love. This seems so cruel considering that there is a piece of us missing, but we were also created to live in the fullness of this love.
Eve could not resist the apple.
She was drawn to the fruit as though she did not have enough. She lived in the fullness of this love surrounded by unsurmountable beauty, completely adored by Adam and yet she was deceived into believing she hungered for more. Perhaps this is the downfall of all mankind and this is the aftermath of lost control. Our eyes are wide open, and we are fully aware of the need for this love. We hunger and thirst for it as though it is the fountain of youth but look for it in all the wrong places.
Once Bitten, Twice Shy.
“Everybody, everybody wants to love. Everybody, everybody wants to be loved”…..by Ingrid Michaelson.
A million songs dancing across the radio waves remind us of this lost love. Two ships passing in the night. A vapor that intoxicates and then vanishes.
When all eyes are on the young maiden, it is the queen who draws my attention. It is she who has been pierced with the thorn of sorrow. She too, chased after this love only to hold the ashes of her heart in the palms of her hands. She looks on with longing as the untouched maiden finds “true love” and she bereaves with jealously. The queen has a deep-seated reason that she has turned into the monster that she is portrayed to be. At one point she was also a young maiden searching for her true love’s kiss. Underneath her evil plots palpitates the brokenness of a life once lived. She has come to the brink of herself and justifies, “if I can’t have it, no one can have it.”
It all starts with the thorn in the flesh.
The evil queen was once loved deeply and thoroughly by her beloved. She hoped and dreamed and spent her days singing with the birds in the woods. She danced and loved to the fullest of her being. She gave it all in return for his love which in the end was unveiled as a counterfeit.
I believe at least once we have all experienced a taste of this unsatisfying love. If we have lived long enough, we have a story tell.
Last night, as I lay in my bed snuggled under heavy comforters reading my book, a flicker of light on the world map tacked to my wall caught my eye. The temperature has dropped below freezing here in Montana and I really didn’t want to get out from under my comforters. I decided to crawl across my bed keeping my eye upon the light. The light I saw was my bedroom lap casting light upon a thumb tack. The tack was stuck over the country of Tanzania. I placed tacks into my map indicating the countries that my blog has reached. It’s kind of a fun thing that keeps me motivated to continue my writings. Its kind of exciting knowing that some curious reader in that country has read at least one of my blog posts.
Why did it have to be Tanzania?
I am taken back. My left-hand feels the nakedness of the one carat that used to adorn its ring finger.
Once upon a time, there was a proposal, and the ring was imported from Tanzania. It was one of the tanzanite jewels that had been mined out of the hills there. The story goes that foreigners were mining the jewels and the natives didn’t like it. The natives decided to shut the operations down. I am unsure of the full story.
That seems like a lifetime ago as my ring finger feels the silence of this “forever love.” The cold mountain air chills me and I jump back under my covers.
Again, my condolences are with the queen.
As I sit at my desk this morning drinking my first cup of fresh ground coffee, looking over my world map, I feel the Lord directing me to Psalms 21.
“You have given him his heart’s desires and have not withheld the request of his lips.”
Then He asks me, “Angela, what is your deepest heart’s desire?” and my response comes surprisingly quick, “To be loved.”
I then look back over my life and realize that everything that I have done or tried to achieve is meaningless without love. I think about my childhood and my marriage. I think about my children and my life’s work…
“What is one thing that your deepest heart desires?” again I feel Him ask in my spirit.
To be loved, Lord. To be unconditionally loved. Regardless of my flaws, mishaps, and insecurities, to simply be loved.
Then He takes me to 1 Corinthians and has me read it in a whole different light.
I always looked at this passage as a call to love, but today I see it as a call to be loved.
We cannot give what we do not first receive.
“If I speak in a tongue of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
I think back over my life, ” have I been loved?”
But what if, this whole time He had been standing right next to you and me offering us this love?
How would our lives be different if we truly knew that we had always been loved?
What if the treasure that we had always sot had been with us the whole time?
Unknowingly it has been.
He’s the One who never leaves the one behind.
All my love,
Angela B. Bowland
(author of More Than a Mud Flap)