It is rather a unique experience for me, but this man, for whom God has given me to pray and care, and by whom God has taught me so much about what it means to love another person (in a non-romantic way), has my heart.
I wrestle with this concept — I really do! On one hand, I keep questioning myself; is there something wrong with me? Is there something disordered here? Because I don’t want that. That would be “of me” and not “of God,” and I don’t want to have any part of something which is not “of God.” For His sake, my sake, and his sake. So, I triply denounce anything which is just my runaway emotions or imaginings.
I don’t think this is disordered. I pray about it all the time. I discern myself and with my spiritual director, priest, and others. I think that it is just a unique way of loving which I am less familiar with, but with which God in increasingly making me familiar.
See, we are all meant to love outside of ourselves. We are all meant to see each other person as the most holy thing you will encounter with your senses outside of the Eucharist — Jesus Himself. We are all meant to pour our entire selves out for other people.
I know that I am an unfinished work, because although I am getting closer to understanding this with this one person, I don’t yet have this kind of love for ALL people. And I should. I really should.
I think it’s a process. Of softening my heart. Perhaps in a way, my heart was hardened. Oh, not in the sense that I was mean or uncaring for other people — that’s never been the case. But I think that I have been hurt before, and so I hide my heart within myself and only share parts of it with others.
For this one man, however, God has done something like take my heart outside of the place where I keep it hidden within me and placed it within him.
If this all sounds rather odd and unpolished, it’s because it is. These are new thoughts, and I’m hashing them all out here for you to see (and me to remember and be able to go back to later). What it comes from is from my experience last night. Whenever I’m around this person, I feel some sort of visceral connection. Like my senses are being tweaked. I’m kind of used to that by now. It helps me, I think, to “tune in.” Does he need more prayer than usual today? Does he seem sad, burdened, joyful? How can I help?
I was at that Called and Gifted workshop last night and he was there also. As I was leaving — driving away — I looked back at the place and the thought came to me (in a way different that my thinking it myself, if that makes any sense), “My heart is in that man.”
Last night, just before bed, I was reading from Peter Kreeft’s book, “Before I Go.” The last thing I read was “What Does ‘I Love You’ Mean?” He replies, “‘I love you’ means ‘I tie myself to you.'” I find this to be so true. I’ve written before about how I think that prayer binds you — in love, in Him — to another person. I think prayer is one of the most loving things you can do for another person. So, as I pray, I am binding myself, and I am loving. And I am finding that my heart is moving outside of me and is residing in others.
This morning, I woke up and continued reading. On the next page, he’s talking about family and another line jumped out at me. “So to give someone your time is to give him your life.”
A true gift of self. I am not my own. I belong to God. May I cooperate and go wherever He leads me, and continually seek after the pieces of my heart which He is placing in others.