I am still reading Discovering our Spiritual Identity by Trevor Hudson and at the same time have started reading Barbara Brown Taylor’s wonderful book An Altar in the World. I would highly recommend reading these two books together as they grapple in different ways with what it means to encounter God beyond the walls of the church and live in the presence of God every moment of every day.
Once again I found myself profoundly impacted by a question Trevor Hudson asked: Does the truth of your belovedness reverberate through your being? If we truly know we are beloved of God it will impact all that we are and all that we do. If we truly know we are the beloved of God we will be able to relax and live in that belovedness. We will no longer have to strive for approval either from God or from others. We will know it in the very fabric of our being and shock waves of that knowledge with reverberate out from us into the world around.
Have you ever watched a young couple passionately in love? They glow with that love in a way that makes them appear more attractive not just to each other but to everyone around them. And they want to make sure the whole world knows they are in love. Which means they not only openly express their love for each other, they often become more loving towards others too.
Do you know you are a cherished and beloved child of God? Whether you answer yes or know to this I suggest that you do what Trevor Hudson recommends –
Throughout the scriptures, there are numerous verses that underline the fact of our belovedness. When joined together to form what I like to call “a personal beloved charter”, they can induce us to see ourselves through the eyes of the Holy One and to feel about ourselves the way God feels. With hearts and minds we begin to grasp that every one of us represents God’s unfolding creation; that the Holy One is continuously attentive to what we are experiencing; that there are eternal purposes that God has for our lives. (p29)
I heartily recommend this process. Knowing in our heads that God loves us is one thing, establishing it in our hearts is another. We are all stunted in our ability to both give and receive love. Abuses and tragedies from the past convince us that God does not really care. Hardships and disillusionment in the present reinforce our belief in a distant, disinterested God. Yet God is ever present wanting us to know the incredible depth of his love not just for us but for all that has been created.
So what does your personal beloved charter look like? A good place to start would be by meditating on Romans 8:38, 39
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And if you feel so inclined please share your thoughts and let us know what your personal beloved charter looks like.