Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Free of Charge

I am currently reading 'Free of Charge - Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace' by Miroslav Volf.

What a great book and what a great thinker and writer.

He begins by writing about adoption and how he had always struggled with parents who gave their children up for adoption.  He felt like they were abandoning their children and failing in the most proper duty of a parent, namely to love no matter what.

Then everything changed.

He and his wife tried for 9 years to have a baby.  They tried everything and nothing worked.  They cried out to God for a baby, yet their prayers were not answered.  He decided that God was disappointing, puzzling and simply an observer.

But then they were given the opportunity to adopt.

He recounts of when he and his wife are picking up their son.  He is three months old and the boy's birth mother and sister are in the room holding this little baby one last time. They are crying. Crying because they love him and will miss him.  Crying because they have joy knowing that this little boy is being given a new life that will enable him to flourish.

And in this very act of adoption, Miroslav realises that the love this birth mother has for this child is deep, selfless and remarkable.  She loved him for his own sake, not seeking any selfish reward from her baby, but loved him so that she would rather suffer his absence yet know he is flourishing, rather than enjoy his presence and see him suffer.

Miroslav and his wife encounter God's answer to prayer.

The act of giving, without a desire to receive, is how we live truly fulfilled lives.

If we continue to trade, take and demand off others, then we will find ourselves bound in chains that will strangle us and rob us of any peace or joy, life or community.

To give in complete unconditional love is to enter into the very life and heartbeat of God.  We become most who God desires us to be, most who he created us to be when we give in this way.  We reflect the very nature of Jesus when we give like a river that flows into the sea.

Ambition, greed, fame, selfish desire can all be washed away in the beautiful act of giving.  And just imagine what the world would be like if we gave and gave and gave...

1 comment:

Tony Mayes said...

Wow - nothing more to be said