Going Far to Come Near

imageMany a Christmas one hears thoughts about God coming near. What does it mean that God is with us? How is our world different as a result?

Last evening I started thinking about the other side. What did it mean that God left Home behind? What did it mean for Perfect Communion to be split by a human form and human limitations? Was there any severing or suffering in that moment? What did God leave, what did God give up, in order to come near to us?

When one wants to love the world like the Father loves the world, there is often suffering involved. There is often a giving up, a forsaking, a leaving.

For some it is a literal giving up of home, of loved ones, of going far in order to come near. There is real pain here.

For another the giving up may be the giving up of things, comforts, life-style. It may be giving up the expected for the unpopular, the cool for the uncomfortable, the savvy for the foolish. It may be giving up the life I wanted for the life I am meant to live. It may be as big as selling everything you have and giving it to the poor or as small as not drinking your favorite soda pop. It may hurt.

So the questions come: What is Love calling me to leave? Where is Love asking me to draw near?

In 5 days my justice journey will take me on a plane far away from many things that are dear to me. There is excitement in the drawing near. There is pain in the leaving.

“Are you having second thoughts?” I have been asked more than once.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

No, not really.

How can I turn back when God did not turn back from me? And how can I claim to love if I am not willing to leave in order to draw near?

Is love worth the leaving? God’s answer was yes.

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