Thursday, May 17, 2012

know Him and make Him known, letter thirty-five, hilary to preston

On Tuesdays and Thursdays around these parts, Preston and I write letters back and forth. We share the wonder of mystery, grace and our encounters with mercy. We hope to hear from you in the comments and imagine with you about this walking out in faith. Read the letter I'm responding to here.

Dear Preston,

By now you know that I'm ending my time on this blog. I don't know if we got to talk about that, somewhere between theology of the arts and teaching, between moleskines and meditations on Blair and Chuck and Serena (she needs some serious character development, that one), but it's true. I'm leaving this space on Sunday and I'm starting to write out the wild love. It's so strange to think about, leaving a blogging space I feel so comfortable with, leaving behind the 320 posts, the five minutes of last spring, the first post that got a serious number of hits or someone retweeted or commented on...

But somehow in all of this leaving I felt the tug in my heart towards this new wild love space. The title even came to me as I was sitting, thinking about whether or not I would really like blogging somewhere else. And I thought to myself, what would I even call it? And then the name. The wild love. Because that is what we are called to live. 

That's what these last four weeks of living have taught me, Preston. That love should be wild and free and given away. That we should share ourselves. That we should not waste time pretending to be self-sufficient, but smile as we offer our neediness and recognize it in each other, laugh that we are helpless and small and dependent, and then hold each other's hearts.

So I'm going to make a new space over there, and journey along in the new, post-grad world, and I really hope that you come along, too. I'm so excited about the new space, but also so nervous and unsure of what it will be and how it will be different. So much change, and so much the same. I think that balance is where the beauty is revealed.

In a devotional that the whole student body received this week, they offered the prayer of general thanksgiving from the BCP. I love those old words. And I read it with eyes towards next year and wild love. The prayer begins,

"Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us.
We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world,
for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love."

Give thanks for the mystery of love. Can you imagine? Giving thanks for all that we don't understand about love, for all that defies reason and expectation, for everything it demands in the dark and without explanation? The beauty, and the wonder, and the mystery. 

And then it ends, 

"Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and
make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things.

That we might know him and make him known. The prayer of thanksgiving becomes the prayer of transformation. Because we give thanks for the mystery and beauty, we can pray also that He would live in us, and we in Him, that we would know Him and make Him known. We give thanks that we might know Him. 

As it all ends here, it all seems more beautiful and more fleeting. As I walk across the Quad, around the pond, pack sheets and towels and clothes into duffel bags, as I type out the last few posts into this blogger window - I want to give thanks for the beauty, the wonder and the mystery. 

I want to know him and make him known. 

Perhaps that's the wild love of next year. And all our years beyond it. Perhaps that's the command and the hope. Perhaps, after all, that's the real work. 

(wild) love, and grace and peace to wonder, and rejoice, 

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