One of the discoveries I have made on my journey of following  Jesus is my belovedness in the Father.  Through Jesus I have come to know that I am beloved.  It is my identity as a child of God. What has surprised me is that in becoming aware of my belovedness, I have been able to better see others as the beloved of God.  This has not always been the case for me.  I have always known I should love others who are different from me.  I have wanted to love others who are different.  But it has not been a reality in my heart.  It was stuck in my head.  I believe that to be true of most men.  We know we should be loving and compassionate, but in reality we know we really are not.  The key, at least for me, has been the ability to claim my “being the beloved of God.”

Listen to these words from Henri Nouwen, which speak to this matter. “When you discover your belovedness by God in solitude, you see the belovedness of other people in community and can call that beauty forth in ministry.  It’s a incredible mystery of God’s love that the more you know you are loved, the more you will see how deeply your sisters and brothers in the human family are loved.  The more you love others without conditions, the more you can love yourself the way God loves you and others.  And the more you are loved by others, the more you realize how much you are the beloved of God.”

I am only beginning to find this true in my life.  At this stage of my journey, God has given me opportunities to be with people who think and live out their understanding of the spiritual journey much different then myself.  Years ago I would be both judgmental and critical of these folks.  But something has happened in my heart.  As I have come to rest in my belovedness, I have a real openness and even compassion for those who are different from myself.  This is truly the work of God’s grace and mercy in my heart.  It has  brought me a kind of joy that I never knew when I was more closed and boxed up in myself

I truly believe that a wild man,  that is a man who has opened his heart to the Lord, will experience the truth of his belovedness and in turn will become a more loving and compassionate man.  To many of us men, have tried to do our loving through our heads.  It becomes a matter of the will and something that we “ought” to do.  Those around us often know that it is not sincere and from the heart.  But the man who know his belovedness in God, has nothing to lose and everything to gain by being a loving man.  God will bless him far beyond his understanding as he walks in the love of God.  Paul prayed that we might “know this love that surpasses knowledge” (Eph. 3:19).  Men don’t try to figure it out.  Learn to live out of your belovedness.