God’s Affection

It’s one of those things which happens right on the edge of sleep, when you are most vulnerable. For me, this is probably when I am most accessible to God. When I am least likely to discount an experience as something coming purely from my imagination.

And also why I am writing this as soon as I awake from my nap, so as not to lose it to the “greater wisdom” of the day.

After Catechism, I came home and had dinner while watching part of a movie. When it was over, I went into my prayer room and sat in my comfy chair for a bit. I was thinking a bit of the movie, about these two people who loved each other so much that each was willing to give everything for the other. And I started to think about the relationships in my life and in the lives of those of my friends.

I became acutely aware of the fact that I am single. There is no one who loves me “best”. I am not first in anyone’s life. Sure, I am loved by friends, and I have some close friends, but I am no one’s #1. They have spouses or others who hold that position in their hearts. I wonder if I have ever really been first for anyone? If I have, it has not been for long.

I begin to really weep. For me, but not only for me. Also, for all the other people in the world who are not first in anyone’s heart. Isn’t that our deepest desire? To be fiercely loved?

I think of God. He is supposed to love us all with this fierceness, right? Right?

But then again, Jesus loved John in a way in which He did not love the other disciples, yes? Aren’t we told of some primacy in His affection for John, the beloved disciple?

I think of how I am lonely here, in my singleness. I have no one here who puts me first. I think of what Heaven might be like. And I weep. For if Jesus can have greater love for one of his disciples, what are the chances of Him loving *me* like that? I mean, sure, God loves us all in the sense that He wants what is best for us, but what about this fierce love that we crave so much?

Will I not be First for You, Lord?

And as I weep, I ask Him to explain it to me. To tell me what love is. To let me know how His love for me works. Not the mechanics of it, but how He can love each of us, so that no one is left in Heaven, standing on the sidelines, looking at how He loves others just a little more….

How did the other disciples feel, seeing Him love John as He did? What about Bartholomew? What do their relationships look like now, when they are all with Him in Heaven?

And so, while crying myself to sleep, I continue to ask Him to explain this all to me.

I wake up, a few hours later. I am no longer sad, but my question resonates in my mind:

Will I not be First for You, Lord?

Then, He flips the question back on me:

Will I not be First for you?

And I understand this as His cry to each one of us. He wants to be First in each of our affections. But for the vast majority of us, this is not the case. At least, not for long.

And I see an image of each of us weeping, He and I, our heads down and an arm outstretched towards the other, desperately seeking the heart of the other. But, as yet, separate.

And as I sit here, recounting this experience — one which I know will be all too easy to discount in the light of day, but one which I also know is one which is *not* to be discounted — I think about the nature of that love which we so desire. What kind of love is it that we want? What is it that I am looking for in my life?

I want that one person who will put me first above all others. Well, that’s not completely accurate, is it? Is it? It’s not really that I want to be loved *more* or that I want anyone else to be loved *less*…

I just want to be loved completely. To be grabbed and held on to. For someone to love me so much, that they would give everything, just for me. That they would die, just for me.

Well now. That kind of sounds familiar.

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