“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” – 1 John 3:1
There are so many ways to say, “I love you.”
I adore you, I need you by my side, I am better because of you, I cannot stop thinking about you, I want to share my life with you… You are my heart’s desire, you are my life, my world, my treasure, my everything…
Even in its brutal and tragic ending, one of the world’s most notable love stories is Romeo and Juliet, written by William Shakespeare. In the balcony scene Romeo, while hiding in the Capulet orchard, speaks his heart as he sees his love Juliet leaning out of a high window. Even though it is late at night, he is taken by the depth of her beauty and his heart is overpowered by the emotion of love and desire that he begins to verbalize them…
“But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou, her maid, are far more fair than she…
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars
As daylight doth a lamp; her eye in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.”
Romeo believes that Juliet is his world, his future, his life. He believed that her physical beauty surpassed and outshined even that of the brightness of the sun itself… Her eyes alone reflected the brilliance of all the stars in the heavens above… Can you even fathom the depths of his love for Juliet?
In Hebrew the word for love is “ahava” – It is universal, relentless love, irrevocable, trusting. Ahava also means “deeply beautiful” to have the gravity of beauty inside and out. The roots of this word are conjoined with an action or purpose ‘hav’, which means to give – Hebrew culture represented, to truly have love, you must give it away.
Ahava. To “give” love… Is it any wonder that it makes us feel “whole” to give of our love to another, freely and completely, from the depths of our innermost?
This is of course dangerous, because it exposes us to being hurt. To trust enough to “ahava” – to give love. Even Shakespeare knew how dangerous it could be to give yourself away so completely. In his portrayal of Romeo and Juliet we see that he compares night vs. day and darkness vs. light – The true struggle of the heart…
“The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.” – Jeremiah 17:9
Your heart is God’s dwelling space, our innermost, an intimate and special place. Don’t you get tired of the people and things of this world playing games with your heart? The human heart is doomed to fail, when it falls in love with self – becoming prey to gratification and satisfaction in the moment… a false love – an unbalanced and unnatural love.
We do live in a world that thrives on external beauty… a false beauty, promulgated by social media, television, magazines, peers and those closest to you, humanity – a war between aesthetics and ethics pulling and pushing continuously. We become complacent and contented, no longer fighting back, believing the lies planted.
- You are not loved…
- You are guilty…
- You deserve what you have…
- You can never be free…
There is however, in all of us an innate capacity to believe, to trust, to long for, to want, to desire… to regain balance and natural love we need to see each person with the eyes of God loving them as He does… without the perversion of the wicked human heart.
Our enemy, the dark, imperfect and fallible human heart leads us astray as we pursue our own desires, our own hopes, our own dreams… All lead to the point where “self” overtakes others and you no longer give love freely or for the right reasons, a point of physical and spiritual death, no different than that of Romeo and Juliet. Overcome by dissatisfaction and the lack of fulfilment the ill-fated, star crossed lovers lose their lives, foolishly and pointlessly.
We desire not to feel broken, battered, bruised – not to feel alone, ashamed, exposed, naked… But to feel freedom from those faults of humanity and to feel what we are destined to be, eternally. To be made whole through His love… to always be provided for, protected – from within and without, cherished above all and consumed in His love.
Jesus sees us differently than Romeo saw Juliet, in that He could give his betrothed more than just His heart and words. We are His eternal joy, the delight of His soul, His treasure, His gold, His silver, His pearl of great price, on and on, we are His everything – with the infallible word of God consistently reminding us, that we are His bride…
As much as He has laid His life down for us. His deep desire is to see us made ‘whole’, setting right what once went wrong – as sin entered into man’s hearts…
He cries from the deepest part within you… tugging at your heart. He wants you to love Him from your innermost, letting go of those people, places and things that confuse us – taking you from your destiny… Those who’s desire it is to capture and contain you and those try to control you… condemning you for your every action.
In Shakespeare’s poemic, you see that Romeo’s desire was to make Juliet his wife… You see in your mind’s eye a lavish wedding ceremony as the beautiful Juliet walks down the aisle to greet Romeo… His longing, his desire is palpable, as he takes in her beauty, ready to do anything for her. He anticipates the limitless boundaries of their future, each step in her approaching. He desires to lift the veil across her face, and gaze into her eyes dreaming making whole his heart – as he gives his all for her.
Jesus wants to activate the “trust” that is already within you for Him, to love him deeply. So much more deeply than that of the physical love portrayed by Shakespeare, setting your heart ablaze – free to “ahava”.
Give Jesus all of your heart and love, given to Him first and He will give back to you new freedom, boundless hope and exceeding love, more than you can contain… you will have to give it away.
As He willingly laid His life down for you, you are His…
Although Jesus did this willingly, He hurt – His heart was hurting and broken heart, for all that did not know Him or accept Him, His human heart was pained and dying – His Godly father tore the veil that separated man’s heart from His – making our dwelling place, His… at that moment His heart leapt with joy.
“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” – Matthew 27:50-51
With an open heart, in an attitude of adoration, let us pray:
“Jesus, I love that you love me, so very much, that your heart is filled with joy when you look upon me, that you celebrate every time I come home and into your presence. Pour into me, transform me to know you more, fill those places – those deep places that are crying out to you – make me whole again, in you…
You are my desire, you are my everything… Make me whole again… love me to the innermost, grant me the ability to love as you love… Recklessly. Completely. Dangerously. Deeply” – Amen.
As you meditate and focus on “the one who loves you” this week, consider “trusting” Him to “love” you as deeply as He desires to… work on letting go of all the junk that this world has placed in your way that is holding you back from freeing your heart for Him to abide with you.
Spend some time and write a love letter to Jesus, pouring out your feelings for Him as the bride… As if you were Juliet and you had heard Romeo’s emotional soliloquy – Reflecting upon the scriptures above… declare the beauty of His true love for you and you for Him.
“Nevertheless, when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” – 2 Corinthians 3:16-18