Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Liked or loved?

[B]ehind the word 'like' there is an astonishing gentleness. The word 'love' which we have vastly overused can have for us the meaning of a forceful intervention to rescue us, and we can forget that behind a forceful intervention to rescue us, which may indeed be how love is shown in a particular circumstance, there is something much stronger, gentler and more continuous, not dependent at all on needing to rescue us. This is liking us.

What I want to suggest is that the word like in all its gentleness is the word appropriate for the extraordinarily unbothered, non-emergency power we mean by creation. It is that gentle liking that is the sign of a power which could not be in greater contrast with the power of the satanic. A power so gentle and so huge that we are not able to be afraid. In the midst of the false manufacturing of meaning and frightening power displayed by the satanic, we are being taught that our being liked and held in being is at the hands of something infinitely more powerful, infinitely restful, and we can live without fear.

What is being revealed is the power of the Creator. 'Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.' ... It seems to me that the fruit of contemplation in the midst of the violence which is going on about us...is this: as we learn to desire through the eyes of another [Christ's], so we are given the heart of another, and what we learn is the extraordinarily benign, peaceful power of one holding everything in being, liking and delighting in us, without distinction.
James Allison in On Being Liked
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