Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What I look like, a charity case?

Thankful for today's new mercies as I reflect
on what hurt about yesterday,
on my subsequent recoil and fear,
on imperfect love foolishly given and miserably received,
1 Jn 4:18 on God's perfect love whereby fears are stilled and hope remains. 

Your charity wounds. Throw it on the ground.
If you would do right, love God and love your neighbor.

“Charity” derives from this Latin meaning “from the heart” and often is translated as "love." The quality of this love then depends semantically on the heart that's being referred to. Love from my heart? Will never do. But love from Your heart is inexhaustible and true and unconditional. 1 Cor 13

A fickle human hearts gives philanthropy when it feels like it, when emotionally moved to do so. When convenience says I can, when balance sheets permit, when tax returns require, when risk analyses are clean, when I want.

Socially, justly, people are not “they who want” money or something else vs. “we who have” it, or vice versa. We are people.  Human people would prefer relationship, friendship—love—to handouts.

No one wants to be seen only by her need. Neither should one be summed only for his worth. Isolate a person’s lack from his abundance and you will be moved to presumptuous pity, or malicious envy, or paternalism, or abuse, or tolerance, or a number of other exchanges that are not love.

Sincere philanthropy or “love of man,” then, accounts for—balances—both. For Love, as Irene taught me from Plato's writings, bears the genes of both its parents: Poverty and Plenty, Porus and Penia.

imago Dei
I ought to love my fellow man if only for his being one—made equally in the image of God.
Gen 1:27-28
The image, having been distorted, gives love injuriously, receives love imperfectly—even demanding or rejecting it.

As we are re-made into the image and conformed to the likeness of Christ, our attempts at and intents of loving are also redeemed into closer representations of God and his perfect love. This love, God scandalously demonstrated in that while we were yet absolutely helplessly in need, he died, making unworthy-us worthy. Rom 5, 8

a charity case? are you kidding?
daughter, that's not how I see you.
you look like... My Son.
not His spitting image quite... yet.
but I love you. and I'm still working on you.
so go, o first-loved, go and love. 1 Jn 4:19
and be not afraid.

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