Friday, October 19, 2012

Building a Storehouse of Love

All through life there are experiences—of varying milieus, magnitudes, and meaning. To each of these belongs a particular response of love: to appease, to accept, to take courage, to belong, to take leave of absence, to lead, etc.
The trouble is we don’t have all these loving responses in play when we need them.
Sometimes they need to be developed from experience; this is when life can sometimes be likened to hell—when confusion or unwillingness, as to the appropriate response required, reigns.
The Corpus of Grace
It takes much grace to accept this—that not all our appropriate responses (borne, otherwise, on wisdom) form just-in-time.
Sometimes given situations warrant agony because we’re perplexed as to the way through. Anxiety enters the scene—always for inexplicable reasons. The only helpful answer to such anxiety is the grace to calmly work on the problem—however it’s discerned—and to keep calmly and positively focused on improving things.
Sooner or later things improve.
Panic won’t help, nor will getting bogged down in the sort of morbid acceptance that glories in such a trough.
The corpus of grace is all-sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9) whether we feel equipped or not. Our weakness is testimony of God’s strength. Drawing on God’s strength is entering into the truth of our weakness—not denying—acknowledging our Divine need.
Simply knowing that trials find us ill-equipped is confidence that the storehouse of loving responses has need of further fortification. And knowing trials where we feel equipped—in the quietness of serene faith—even when life is far from fair or perfect—is a majestically stoic confidence; we have what we need to endure; a bridge to a better land; we have it now and ever more.
The Storehouse Of Divine Capability
The title of this article could, in some ways, be misleading—our capabilities for stowage are not for ‘loving’ more or better. We are building a character reflecting and symbolising love.
What this is about is Divine access—God is love. To understand life, to cope, and to feel blessed, requires access to love—to receive grace from God—so we can respond well to the prevailing situations we find ourselves in.
Love at its perfection utilises such wisdom nonchalantly and to respectful effect.
So, this storehouse of Divine capability is full when we have the set of behavioural responses required to fit the presenting situations. It is a storehouse of love because we’re able to love, or respond appropriately.
We’re not there yet. This storehouse in view is unlimited in its capacity, just as the scope of experiences we’re exposed to is unlimited.
All we can hope to do is build our capability. With experience we do.
Responding well in life is principally reliant on the mode of love. Building our storehouses of love is about developing appropriate responses and learning from our inappropriate responses, all the while having the grace to accept our present best.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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