What does it mean to live a "beloved life"? How important is it? What are the benefits? Consider that many or most of us move through the world making every effort to measure up, get it right, maximize output, remain in control and spin the outcome. But have you ever wondered if this is really what you're made for? Have you longed for more of something that's hard to articulate but feels a little like being allowed -- even welcome -- to come as you are at the moment? Messy, imperfect, beautiful and valued. The people we see Jesus interacting with in the Gospels are usually not showing up to Him in their perfection. They are desperate, excluded, blind and beggarly and His response to them is tenderness. The disciples were people with flaws and fissures, and following Jesus tended to reveal those as He taught them His ways of love. Yet when Jesus looks at them He sees beyond all of that, past who they wish they were, past who they want Him to think they are, and He calls them friends.
What if that messy but fully seen person could be who you brought to your family, your colleagues, your friends, God? How would it feel to drop the mask and show up as your authentic self? And what if, in doing so, you found that you are known and deeply adored? Perhaps that is what it is to be beloved.
And then...what if coming into our place of belovedness to God could transform us from performers and spin doctors into lovers, and givers, and people who pour out that belovedness into those around us? What if belovedness filled our need for belongingness? What would our lives be like, then? Are you curious? What dreams in you long to take flight?
The mystery of all of this is that it really is the "slow work of God" (Teilhard de Chardin). We simply begin by coming present to God as He is present with us, and opening our souls to His very good, very tender work. I hold hope that something Spirit inspired in these words will draw you in closer to the heart of the Creator, who built you for belonging. For beloved.
Go softly, friends, with open hearts. See what is born.