Thoroughly Alive

We must hunger after the beautiful and the good...


Love Like Crazy

This is a post from several years back, but it feels as true now as it ever did then, and I find myself in the same sort of walks with just the same sorts of thoughts these lovely spring days. I forayed out into the spring world in the blue hours of this morning. I’ve been up with the birds of late and have made it a habit to greet the dawnlight with an hour of walking. It is good, unspeakably good for my soul and body to stride out into the freshness of the waxing sunlight, to watch the soaring joy of the myriad birds as they reclaim their wintered nests, to witness the ever-changing drama of the mountain sky. I find that my hour grounds me, plants my feet firm in the humble goodness of God’s green earth, reminding me of my place as tiny, yet beloved creature, teaching me of his nature as it is expressed in what he has made.

But this morning especially brought me a rare insight, filled me with a strange gladness. It was a storm morning, one of those dappled, rushing dawns with great swaths of mist pouring over the western mountains, challenging the sunlight’s slow advance in the east. Headphones in and jacket zipped tight against the keening of the wind, I gloried in it. I felt that chill blue briskness of looming storm, the aspens shuddering, the sky darkling. I was heady and bright with the beauty. My walk was almost rhythmic as my music came pouring into my ears to accompany the drama of the rare day around me.

I had walked a good five minutes before the words of the song I was hearing registered in the breathlessness of my thought. Love like crazy. It was a song by Chris Rice, one of my family’s all-time favorite artists, and it was all about love, the love of Christ; quick, and free, and downright crazy in its goodness. And as I listened closer to those words the wind swerved suddenly to miss a streak of lightning and his gust caught a flock of sparrows and flung them laughing through the blue air to catch their balance in the growth of new leaves. I looked up and saw the new twist of flowers and vines, pushing inexorably up through the rain-soaked earth. Saw the lake, full from the spring storms, etched with the dancing of the wind. And suddenly the music and the words and the storm-swept world around me took eachother’s hands and fused their beauties into a coherent thought in my mind.

Love like crazy. Love like this wild storm.  Live with this goodness rushing through you. I could see a picture of God’s wild love before me in the unbounded beauty of the storm and rush of the wind; saw the unfetteredness of his life in the tangle of new vines and profusion of leaves and zip of the birds. There is nothing that holds itself back either in springtime or in the unexplainable mercy of God’s love for me. And to love like crazy, to love as Christ did, means to love freely, in unbounded gladness. Love must be rampant in its goodness, an untameable force of new life that broaches no resistance. I must love like crazy; love like the blue of the sky in its vast blueness, in its endless drama of color. I must love like the wind, with a dance and a flourish, unchained by bitterness or judgment. I must love like the verdant, springtime earth, in a growing abandon of life that covers the ground that is barren and brings shade to the sun-scorched heart.

I needed my lesson from the goodness of God’s creation this morning. I am such a soul of justice, walk in such a weights-and-measures sort of goodness that is tempted only to love when it is is earned, only to accept grace if I deserve it. But the wildness of this springtime morning, with the soundtrack of that single thought helped me to enter back into the grace of God, into the springtime freedom of his endless love. Love like crazy. Why yes Lord, I think I will.