Wednesday, September 1, 2010

batter my heart

I can feel the deep, deep deep love of Jesus calling out my name, I'll never be the same

I've been marked by heaven forever and ever
I've been marked by heaven forever.



Batter my heart, three-person'd God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.

Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy ;

Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

Read this in high school. Loved it. And also loved the other piece by Donne (no man is an island...the bell tolls for thee... that one) --he totally had Connectedness for his top strength. :)

There's violence in love. When we sing, "He is jealous for me," just how far do we suppose that jealousy goes? God likes having us around--God came down for us--God wars for us--God died for us?

I get annoyed when people say things like, "God does not need anything or anybody. He is sufficient in Himself."
Yes, that logically theologically makes sense. He is GOD after all.

BUT the way that comes across is completely false--it's like a wife saying to her husband, "I don't need you. I'm fine by myself."
Yes, that's true. Even though it may not seem like it, humans can keep going even if something horribly awful happens, like the death of a spouse.

Yet we still say to each other, "I need you, I would die without you." That NEEDING is part of love, the binding.

Set me as a seal upon your heart, for love is as strong as death. (song of songs)

Infinitely more so, God doesn't need us to exist. But He loves us, He longs to gather us under his wing. God longs.
He needs us like a lover needs his beloved.

ruthless, audacious, unbelievable...

I'm reading Jeremiah and finished other prophetic books recently, and what struck me is the emotionality of God. He HATES what his beloved people are doing, it GRIEVES him, he sent this and that and YET THEY HAVE NOT TURNED!!
Again and again... he will STILL have compassion on them, they STILL turn away, but he will NOT abandon them, he will still relent and have COMPASSION, and love the harlot they've become, and there will be a BRANCH and a priest and a king....

May we never, ever, ever in all of our study of God, reduce this wild love to a remote God who doesn't let himself need anybody like a hermit. It's not like that.

Too often the technical (God is all-sufficient) has clouded an understanding of love. Our God is not a God far off.

What response is too radical to such love?

Moving into scary territory now. "Batter my heart, O three-Person'd God." "I tear my heart, I rip it open", "Arms wide open, heart exposed," "I want to KNOW Christ...and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings," "I've been crucified with Christ--it is not I who live, but Christ in me."

AAHH!! Last time I check, it HURTS to rip your heart open!!!!! to be crucified.

You'd have to be insanely in love.

Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.


  1. I remember reading that in high school too. It wasn't for a long time afterwards that I realized how strange it was that some of those lines were written by a guy. :-)

  2. hmmmm.... the bridegroom paradigm. :) I love that poets and mystics really embraced that--God as Lover.