Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Today’s text

John 12:32-33

And when I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all people to myself.' By these words he indicated the kind of death he would die.


The Spirit draws; the devil drives. This is old wisdom among spiritual directors.

The Spirit of God draws the soul by love, coaxing the heart to its true self, its true home. The Spirit moves us from the inside, drawing us to what we most need.

The spirit of the evil one drives the heart, whipping it along with accusations and the guilt of ‘shoulds’ so that we might satisfy some judge, whether internal or external.

We carry so many ‘shoulds’ from external voices we have internalized, voices of parents, teachers, mentors, friends and often adversaries. These voices may have given kindly advice about what is good and right, popular or seemingly wise.

We hear the voices thousands of times through the decades of living, too often in unhelpful ways. Our fears of inadequacy, our guilt about what we have done or not done, and our shame about who we are--all these turns gentle advice into a mass of shoulds, shaking accusing fingers at us.

“I should …. I should … I should.” The sentence always makes me take notice, whether I hear it from someone else or when it crosses my own lips.

Often, the should looks and sounds good, something worthwhile we might do or seek.

But the motivation comes not from the depth of one’s heart, from the love that is within us seeking expression. It comes from judgments of others (or self-judgment) and is not expressive of what the Spirit seeks to love out of us.

Jesus is lifted up on the cross, and the love that filled him flows out as surely as his lifeblood. He is lifted up, and the love in him draws hearts to him so they might know the love God is … for them.

Love does not whip us forward. It doesn’t move us by means of oughts and demands, guilt and obligation.

Love simply loves, moving love’s desire in open hearts. It invites us to come near because we want and need to do so. It is magnetic.

It doesn’t tell us what we should do. It asks, what do you want to do? What is in your heart? What is your joy? To what does love draw you?

'When I am lifted up I will draw all people to myself.' The drawing of love in a human soul is the presence of the living Christ coaxing us home to himself, to our true heart, to the person we really are.

Pr. David L. Miller

1 comment:

Rhonda Hainer said...

Words on a bumper sticker, "Don't should on me !"