I was in the bathroom at Menards the other day when a man came up to the sink, waved his hands underneath and was clearly frustrated when it didn’t come on. Realizing it was an old faucet without a sensor, he flipped the handle, washed his hands and left – water still running, handle up in conscious or unconscious protest.
I laughed to myself after washing my hands and turning the water off. I often probably act in a similar fashion. I like things the way I like them, old or new, and protest when people mess with my comfort zones and expectations. My first inclinations tend to be pretty judgmental, especially now as things are changing so quickly.
Social structures and norms are changing like technology. What’s a faithful, loving person to do? The answer may be simpler than we tend to think: Maybe we shouldn’t be too quick to get caught up in debates on structure. Structure is much like plumbing. If God is Love (which the Living God is), the Holy, Healing Spirit will show up through focusing on what helps the flow of life-giving love, starting with the well-spring within us.
Jesus was a master at getting to loving. He knew that things always start with the heart. He also knew that each person must take responsibility for what is happening in theirs. It’s why he spoke of his way and truth as a lifestyle of developing a well-spring of “living water” from within (John 4:7-26). It’s no coincidence that his description of that was at a well with a Samaritan woman – someone Jews would have pre-judged as unworthy in every way. He came to rest with her in honest but compassionate love first and worked creatively from there, redeeming her and changing the context social judgments had created.
The measure we give is the measure we get within as well as without. Getting to loving on the inside precedes really getting to loving on the outside. Whenever we sense that love isn’t flowing within us, let’s move past that first inclination to judge ourselves and others, dig deeper, come to rest at the well-spring of God’s Love giving us life and get to loving as an active movement of spirit. The steps of the rest that works help us do that (blog from 8/26/2015 Making a Home with the Living God).
Some correction in plumbing may be needed here and there, but always with goal of helping and not hindering the flow of God’s life-giving Love. Testing the flow of love tells us what is working and what is not (as do our feelings). We always feel better deep down inside when we know we are truly being about love.
More power to you with your well-spring and thanks for journeying together!