Love on a Ledge
‘I tell you, my friends, don’t be afraid of those who kill the body…Fear Him who…has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him’ (Lk. 12:4, 5).
Jesus reveals to us the face of the Father. Fearsome. He looks at us lovingly; He knows I am inclined to look away and feast on false gods. That I could and can still choose lust over holy love makes me tremble. Fake fires blaze a sure way to hell. Now. Forever.
Trembling, I want Him. I want heaven now. I want heaven forever. Our Father gives us that freedom: His burning love for me, I on a ledge that I can leap from anytime I choose.
My sinful inclinations fuel a fear of God. They make me tremble. I’m grateful. The second most common word used for ‘fear’ in the Old Testament means ‘tremble.’ Let’s not soften the meaning of holy ‘fear’ with ‘respect’ or ‘reverence’, even ‘awe.’ If we don’t tremble before the Life-Giver and Taker, we don’t know the meaning of ‘holy fear.’ We need it in our vocabulary: more than that, we need to tremble in our worship, our commitment, our sacrifices on His behalf.
One night, I dreamed of hell. It helps me tremble. I was transported to a hideaway where several persons began to beat me. It was unendurable but I couldn’t pass out, let alone die. It was torment without end. I awoke, certain I glimpsed hell. Though not inclined to revisit, my flesh (at times) longs for a return trip by a ticket that seems torture-free. It’s pleasure unending, the boundless attention of, and access to, sexy deities—love-on-command. Promising paradise, these demons engulf me in flames that lead to the final burn.
On a ledge, looking. Love’s gaze is more compelling than lust. I see it in my wife’s tears, her strength subsiding for a moment of repose, release; I see it in her joy when happiness breaks for a loved one and praise rises for answered prayer.
Love looks at me every morning through Divine Mercy. His likeness burns in my heart; I can summon Blood and Water constantly, as I go. Its current cancels the curse of hell. My curse. Only His love breaks the power of lust and lifts me up to who I am and what I am for. I love this Father and Son, and fear more than anything life without Them.
Nothing can separate me from Love. Except myself. I stand on this ledge, solid as rock. Unshakeable. My feet quake as I behold the depths from which He raised me. Rejoicing, I tremble (Ps. 2:11).