One

There must be separation for there to be intimacy, for no one can have intimacy with himself. As Three Dog Night sang, “One is the loneliest number in the world.”

There is a cost to intimacy: you have to live with the risk you may have it ripped from your heart by the one you love.  The thought of Yahweh sitting apart from the beloved of His soul, carving their names into the palms of His hands, yearning for the ones He birthed from His own heart to return to Him, is excruciating and tragic. The very people He chose to risk His heart for are the ones who gave Him their backs and not their faces.

This willingness to sacrifice, to accept death as you hope for life, is essential for redemption. Yahweh said, “Many waters will not quench love; neither shall the floods drown it, for love is as strong as death.” With Adam’s loss of relationship, because of sin, came death. Only death could come between God and man, and only something as strong as death can set the matter right.

When animals were sacrificed, with the shedding of blood, it was precisely the pain and suffering that comes from God’s sacrificial love that covered a multitude of our people’s sins.  The life of the animal was the life of God. He hurt at their death. Each animal was created by Him and for Him. Each one given to redeem man was a wound in the heart of Yahweh. In fact, the ultimate sacrifice of Messiah went backwards in time, taking on the suffering of all creation and bringing the salvation of all creatures. “There is no greater love, than that a man give his life for his friends.”

It is the love that risks and gives away everything that creates intimacy and redemption. It is the willingness to risk separation that fuels courage and love, allowing us to embrace the ruthless power of death for the ones we care for.  In order to bring others life, we, like Messiah, must be willing to embrace death, one day, one hour, one minute at a time.

The hope of resurrection life allows us to risk our heart with others and with God. We trust the Creator of all things is willing and able to give us beauty for ashes, pools of water in a desert and to raise life from death. It is a testimony that some things are worth dying for, that death is the unexpected road to life. “Except a grain of wheat fall to the ground and die, it abideth alone.”

To let another person be free brings union because life does spring forth from death and beauty indeed arises from ashes.  Yet death and ashes can be terrifying. Nothing breaks a heart like seeing the retreating back of the one you love. Ask Yahweh. Yahweh sacrificed Himself the moment He made Eve. First, He tried to see if an animal might work. Even Jesus desired to find a way that did not take Him to the cross.

Love always comes down to choosing another over oneself, to see in loss something more wonderful than gain.  The lover understands giving is richer than receiving.  Yahweh let go of His hope and desire for a life with Adam so those very desires for His son might be raised up in eternal marriage with millions of children. “He who goes forth, weeping, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again, rejoicing, bringing with him his sheaves.”

Do not give in to the temptation to hoard the love that has filled your heart by the Holy Spirit. It is your seed corn. Instead, fling it abroad. You will find it becomes bread cast on the waters, which returns to the giver seven fold.