Wounds as Conduits of Love
Dear Kaleid Ladies,
Good morning! How’s your passion doing?
Y’all. Really. I hope you smiled a bit when you read that question.
Kaleid is not taking a turn toward the different (although we do tend to like to have challenging conversations, so…you never know). But, we are spending time talking about passion as one of three important, God-given elements of self—purpose, passion, and power—each of which matters in how we follow God through life’s shifts in order to love well.
We have purpose, passion, and power because we were created in God’s image.
Our passion reflects the intense love and longing that our relational God possesses. Our loves and longings are God-given impulses that can generate holy passion, a beautiful knot woven from powerful threads of freedom and desire, action and surrender, suffering and commitment. When rightly ordered, human passion can be an unstoppable force of love.
Jesus’ life shows us God’s purest, most holy passion in relief. Jesus shows us what God’s love looks like. And it is all the more stunning when we see Christ’s passion contrasted with the myriad ways human passion can go awry.
Human passion short-circuits because we have another reality at play—sin. The Bible tells us stories about this human condition, one in which we seek perceived freedom through means other than relationship. Genesis speaks of a man and woman who seek freedom through knowledge rather than through relationship with their Creator. The Gospels tell us of a rich young man who went away sad, choosing the freedom of wealth rather than the freedom of a relationship with Jesus.
David Benner says this, “Created from love and for love, humans—according to the Christian account of things—spurned God’s love in favor of what was perceived to be freedom. The result, of course was disastrous. Liberty instantly replaced by bondage, intimacy by alienation. Genuine love was reduced to self-love, and the result was egocentricity and estrangement from our deepest self, God and others.”
With sin, our love and longing become brokenly attached. The purity of our passion suffers. In our system of sin, passion no longer frees us to love.
Because of the cascading effect of brokenly attached love and longing, we sustain wounds in our deepest places from the time we are very small. Our young hearts suffer the effects of others’ misplaced longings and misguided loves. And so, we grow with these wounds and sometimes we grow into them, passing them on along the way.
Ironically, what we come to call our “passions”—the places where we will unreservedly show up in the world and the people we feel most compelled toward—often grow out of our deepest wounds. We have suffered and so we are passionate about others not suffering in that same way. Or perhaps, we have suffered and so we subconsciously pursue remedies by sheer force: our “passions” can feed our obsessions or our defensiveness rather than becoming a force of love in the world.
Passions reliably point us to wounds where Jesus can heal us.
Jesus shows us what a whole person with holy and pure passion looks like. His loves and longings were ordered according to the truth of pure relationship. Jesus’ identity was that of a fully loved child of a perfect parent. Through Jesus, we can be saved, healed, reborn, and reparented so that our loves and longings are re-attached to God. In Jesus, God’s love heals our wounds and connects our passion back to God’s story.
Wounds reliably point us to passions where God’s love can move through us.
In the end, our passions are often the areas of our lives that need healing but are also used to heal the world.
Next week we will talk more, but until then, we pray that you will be encouraged by the passionate and vulnerable love of God, who came to restore your longings and your loves.
Consider your wounds and your passions. Do you see any connection between them? This is a big question, so you may want to invite the Holy Spirit to bring something specific to mind, perhaps asking, “Lord, where in the last week have I felt passionate about something? Is there a connected wound where you could add healing and that passion could contain more of your love?”
Peter was a disciple who experienced pain and healing as his passion grew more and more purely driven by love for Jesus. Read the account of his restoration and imagine yourself listening in. What do you hear in Jesus’ voice and words that also speak to you about your wounds, God’s love, and your passion?
Pray this Prayer: Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, on God, now and forever. Amen.
The Kaleid Team
P.S. We would love for you to join us on April 15th for the StrengthsFinder workshop with coach Elizabeth Payne, where we will explore how our purpose and passion can work together as we love well and uniquely in the world.
Finally, register today for our Easter Silent Retreat at the Ignatius House on May 1st! We have about 8 spots remaining!