Reckless Love

Good morning. Today is Thursday, June 6, 2013. Things are moving along pretty much normally around here, lately. The new kitten is fitting in quite nicely.

We had some thunder-boomers last night, between 2am and 4am. I didn’t hear anything but thunder and rain, though. It sounds like we got a decent amount of rain.

There’s not a whole lot more to talk about today. Oh, the Red Sox and Rangers are playing in Fenway Park. So far, they have split the series. The Red Sox won the first game 17-5, and the Rangers won last night 3-2. Tonight is the “rubber match” of the series.

Today is National Gardening Exercise Day. How, exactly, do you get your garden to exercise?

(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)

Camillo di Cavour, along with Giuseppe Garibaldo, was considered one of the fathers of the unification of Italy. He was “the second son of a marquis,” very intelligent and resourceful, and Disraeli called him “utterly unscrupulous.” His life ambition was to create an Italian state, and was “the great architect of the Risorgimento” (the rising again) that led to Italy being united. When this was achieved in 1860, “he was Victor Emmanuel’s first Prime Minister.” He had, however, suffered from what we now call malaria since 1850, and died on this date in 1861, after being struck down by fever. His last words were, reportedly, “Italy is made–all is safe.”

Today’s birthday is Danny Strong, born on this date in 1974. Danny played the part of Jonathan Levinson in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We got to meet him at a convention in Chicago. Here is a preview clip of an episode that featured his character, from season four, called “Superstar.”

Honorable mentions go to V.C. Andrews, 1923, Gary U.S. Bonds, 1939, Robert Englund, 1947, Tony Levin, 1948, Bjorn Borg, 1956, Steve Vai, 1960, Bill Bates, 1961, and Paul Giamatti, 1967.


O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. Psalm 51:15
Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. Psalm 43:3-4
O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O LORD, with your faithfulness all around you? Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you. Psalm 89:8,14

Father, I pray that you will send out your light and truth and let them lead me today, most especially as I look into your words this morning, but also as I live through this day, as well.

Today’s reading in A Year With God is called “With Him I Speak Face to Face.” The scripture reading is Numbers 12:1-9.

Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman. And they said, “Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the LORD heard it. Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth. And suddenly the LORD said to Moses and to Aaron and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the tent of meeting.” And the three of them came out. And the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the tent and called Aaron and Miriam, and they both came forward. And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the LORD make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house.
With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”
And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them, and he departed.

(The translation used in the book says, in verse 8, “with him I speak face to face,” where, in the ESV, it says, “with him I speak mouth to mouth.”) This statement that God makes, that he speaks with Moses face-to-face, is the result of the jealousy of Aaron and Miriam, Moses’s brother and sister. God may speak to others in dreams and visions, but, with Moses, he spoke face to face, or “mouth to mouth.”

How many of us have ever been jealous because someone else we knew seemed to receive “special treatment” from God? Here we are struggling to get a grip on God’s plan for our lives, and, over there, so-and-so has it all together (they don’t, really, it just looks that way), they seem to have a clear vision of what they are to do. Let us look deeply into the example of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam when we contemplate these things. I can be seeking God’s guidance in my life and still rejoice with someone who has received a clear vision for theirs.

The final one of the 19 Mercies, by Brennan Manning, is “The grace of reckless love.” We return to the scene of one of the first of the mercies, that of Mary Magdalene at the feet of Jesus. “The fragrance of Mary’s love pervades the room.” When Jesus turns to look at the woman, he speaks to Simon, the host: “You see this woman? I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she poured out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.” Then he said these words about Mary, words which, as far as we know, were never spoken about anyone else: Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little. (Luke 44:47)

If Mary Magdalene had not engaged in this act of reckless love, she “would have been buried in history as an unknown hooker.” Is my relationship with Jesus marked by such reckless love? What is “authentic Christianity?” “It’s the thrill, the excitement, of falling in love with the risen, living Jesus Christ.” Jesus shows us the way to the Father; he pours out the Spirit on us. Not so we will be nicer people, with better morals! So that we will be NEW! “New creations, human torches ignited with the flaming Spirit of the living God.” The 19 Mercies closes with this prayer:

Oh, God, my Father, thank You for Your mercies–
innumerable, measureless, fathomless . . . Thank you!
Be present with me now on each step of this ragamuffin
journey. Grow me up in my inner being to receive and
share abroad more and more of Your love. Let me be Your
hands and face and words to all I meet. Set me free to
serve You–free from anxiety, fear, self-pity, self-hatred,
cynicism, or skepticism. Free me from every crippling sin
and any darkness of unbelief. Lord Jesus Christ, anoint
my life and my spiritual community with deep faith
and reckless abandonment to Your enduring goodness.
Give us truly listening hearts, that we may hear Your Word
and courageously act upon it, to the praise of Your name
and joy of Your heart. I ask this in the name of Your Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Father, I cannot improve on or add to the above prayer, so I simply echo it. I pray for this kind of reckless love in my life. You have been drawing me toward this for a few years, now, and I pray that you keep drawing me! Show me this love; make me one who loves like this. Help me to show this love to others, that they may know the love that you have for all of us.

I pray for this day ahead. I pray that Christi will have a good work day and that the healing will continue. I pray for Stephanie today, that you might show her your unfailing love today. I pray for my work day, that it will be smooth, and that I might have the grace and strength to handle any stress in your love and mercy.

Your grace is sufficient.

I pray that you can all experience this reckless love.

Grace and peace, friends.