Spurned Love

23 May

My mind drifted today to spurned love. I’m not talking about that which occurs between lovers. No, friends and family members who won’t let you near them when they are struggling. Efforts to express your love and support get cut short or cut off. Something within them or integral to the problem erects barriers. They don’t want to hear your counsel. A hug smothers them. They’re certain they can work it out by themselves. It hurts being force to watch from a distance.

I can relate to them. I’ve used my turtle shell a number of times, too. I wonder how many times I reacted that way to Mom and Dad. Were there times when they would have made a big difference in outcomes if I had let them in? Did I hurt them by my actions? Surely it’s so; that’s the way those things work.

I never doubted my mom’s love for me. I had convinced myself that Dad’s chemistry lacked love. Not until years after his death did I begin to see the times Dad reached out to me with the only way he knew how to express love. Unfortunately, I wanted to receive it in different ways. His efforts missed my expectations and demands. Near the end of his life, we reconciled and love for one another grew, but most of my life held a great void. I guess if I could be granted a do-over, understanding how Dad tried to say he loved me would be on my list to choose from.

No matter which side of the communication a person is, both sides hurt when love cannot be expressed. As I look back at the previous void in my life, I am comforted to see Dad’s love was there for me.

Through this muse, I discovered a deeper appreciation for this passage in Matthew 23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.”

Israel had been waiting for millenniums for the promised Messiah. When He stood in front of them, they rejected Him. He didn’t come in the way they wanted. They had a long history of rejecting God’s word to them. Because His communication fell flat—dead on arrival—for their purposes, they doubted God’s love for them or that He even existed. They reasoned that maybe the gods of other nations had more to offer. But still, God continued to love them and desired their nearness.

How many times when I didn’t sense God’s nearness could I say I was unwilling to draw near? How many times have I rejected His comfort because it wasn’t how I wanted it or because I thought I had to overcome the struggle on my own? In short, how have I spurned His love?

“…the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings…” That is such a beautiful image of God’s love and intimacy He wants with me and with you. I’m planning to bask in this thought this week. I hope you join me.

4 Responses to “Spurned Love”

  1. Sheryl M. Baker at 8:37 pm #

    Great analogy Charles. Thanks for sharing something so personal. My husband had a relationship with his father similar to yours. He has told me several times that his Dad never said he loved him. I’m sure he did, but not in the way my husband expected to receive it.


    • hillmenclan at 6:14 am #

      I think it has been established that our relationships with our earthly fathers affect how we view our heavenly Father. I hope this brings help and healing. Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Heather Roberts at 5:39 am #

    Forgive me Lord for my embarrassingly recent rebuffs of Your love. Pull me deeper and deeper into Your love. I need Your rest. Amen


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