“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” John 13:34
“This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love; the more they give, the more they possess.” Rainer Maria Rilke
Understood in purely material terms, this idea expressed by Rainier Maria Rilke is absurd. We all know that if we give away our luscious piece of pecan pie, we won’t get to eat it. Bah humbug–so much for possessing more! We also all know that the great mystical poet was not talking about pie. Love is something altogether different. Love gives in an uncommon way. It gives the Self. Not in the sense of tearing off little pieces of one’s identity and handing them out. Rather to give the Self is to be vulnerable, honest, present, visible.
Vulnerability means getting underneath anger, outrage, condemnation, projection, and opinion to find our tender life. That life thrives deep within us–it hopes and dreams, fears, and feels. Connecting with our tenderness takes courage and it takes strength. It is the road to life. Imagine with me a world where people all sit down at the same huge table and talk, sharing what is meaningful to them–what their life is like, what matters to them, what they hope for, what gives them power to go forward. At this table hearts are open, receiving each one’s expression of Self with no condemnation, no argument, no contradictions. Everyone walks away from this table filled up. Each is in possession of more love than they had yet thought possible. Possession not in the sense of stashing away a large but finite supply, rather possession in that each person now realizes they own the key to opening love’s floodgates, to letting love lift them up. They can use that key any time they choose.
This is possible when we realize that all people dwell in God’s Presence. We know with the Apostle Paul, “For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ “ Acts of the Apostles 17:28. Make it a point to sit often at the table of love with others who are able to share and listen with open honest hearts and generous minds. The common vulnerability in expressing and receiving is the key that opens the uplifting flow of love. It’s not without risk. As we express, as we hear, we are changed in life-giving ways. That’s how the more we give, the more we possess. That’s the miracle. And it’s open to all of us.
In the Love and Light of the Christ,