Being Found By Love
Fr. Mark Mossa’s new book, Already There: Letting God Find You is amazing!
There is a tidbit of wisdom in nearly every paragraph which will find its way into the heart, mind and soul of anyone who dares to read it.
His first chapter speaks of his first love, which is an interesting tale all on its own–a heartwarming story of both romance and heartache. But at its core, it sincerely talks about a notion that I found humbling: Being Found By Love.
As I look back on my life, I often see myself searching for love and occasionally finding someone to love. At times, I’m afraid, I didn’t find that love returned. Was love unable to find me?
As I searched more deeply, I realized a stark truth: Quite often in my life, I was too afraid to be found by love.
Have you ever found a person who just takes your breath away? Dennis Miller, the brilliant comic, said of the first time he saw his wife, “I’ll pass out if that woman comes anywhere near me.” Apparently, he conquered that fear. But often it’s not fear of approaching love, but fear of not being good enough to deserve the love of someone else. Perhaps even when love is found, fear keeps the revelation of self that we all have to offer back to our love from really happening. What if she doesn’t love that part of me? What if she doesn’t agree with my opinion? We act like addicts afraid of being unable to get our next fix. What if the love runs out?
Marion, my wife, helped me get over that. I think I fell more deeply in love with Marion when we had our first fight. Now that sounds completely ludicrous, but in fact it’s true. Most relationships I had been in had a breaking point. I wasn’t rich enough, or I wasn’t dedicated to the relationship enough, or I didn’t possess enough ambition for the other in my life. Whenever we fought, it was a sign that all of these shortcomings were a weakening of her favor in my eyes. The message I internalized was clear: I wasn’t measuring up to another’s expectations.
So I hid. I prolonged relationships by being a giver. I’d quiet my opinions and tolerate someone who wasn’t right for me because let’s face it, it’s easy to stay in a comfortable relationship than to go back out there and start over with someone new.
But hiding who you are doesn’t allow love to find you. Why? Because the person that’s out there isn’t you–but rather some incomplete notion of you. Being accepted for who you are by another is actually quite humbling. It says to you that you are enough, that you are more than enough.
My wife gives me that message every day. No matter what I might put out there, she doesn’t stop loving me. (Even when I’m clearly being a jackass)
That first fight came and ended. I felt like I was waiting for another shoe to drop. Clearly a fight was a sign that this relationship was headed down a bad road. But instead, Marion really understood how I felt and she allowed me to own my own feelings and not have to hide from who I was. I didn’t need to be afraid of being myself, in fact, I could give Marion all that I really am. I could let all the facades drop. Marion saw me figuratively naked. And I was still beautiful to her.
Being found by love means that we can be loved for who we are. How often do we succumb to the idea that we aren’t good enough? We play those same games with God, don’t we?
“I’m not holy enough–God doesn’t expect anything from someone as bad as me. The church is liable to cave in if I even show up.”
Being found by God is all about us becoming comfortable being seen exactly as we are–with no pretentions, no games, no deals. We come before God as sinners, broken people and yet, we are still more than enough for God, who is perfect love.
Do we dare to let God find us? Or do we hide in the bushes, too afraid to come out and be seen?
Perhaps that is our challenge. And the challenge that Fr. Mark is leading us to with his excellent new book. Maybe it’s easier than we think? After all, we simply have to be all that we are. To dare to let others see who we really are beyond all the masks that we put up. When we do that in Fr. Mark’s words, we find that indeed we can be found by love, who finds us where we already are.