Love’s Forgetfulness

Wave foam on the shore.
One late fall night a few weeks into my sophomore year of college, I was already in bed when I heard something hit the glass of my dorm-window. I was just about to roll over and ignore it when I heard it a second and then a third time, followed by my name. I threw on my robe, flung open the window, and tried to piece together the puzzle of what I saw below: a young man with guitar stood with eyes and face upturned. When he saw me he smiled, tossed the pebble in is hand to the ground and began to strum his guitar softly and sing. Slowly, it dawned on me that he was serenading me. And almost just as slowly I realized who that young man in the shadows was: a friend that I hadn’t seen in over a year, who had driven an hour from a nearby university just to sweep me off my feet that night.

It’s a funny thing about love. It makes us unafraid to be seen as foolish. It makes us bold. And perhaps most important of all, it makes us utterly forgetful of ourselves and wholly mindful of another.

I think true worship has a lot of striking parallels. There’s a forgetfulness of self in true worship. When our eyes turn on the beloved, we forget that there is anyone or anything else around that matters. We are caught up in Him, unaware of all the things which usually invade our minds.

I love catching glimpses of this kind of forgetfulness in the stories the Gospel writers have preserved for us. There are James and John who forget their nets and follow Jesus (Mt. 4:21-22). There’s Peter who forgets to be afraid and steps out on the water (Mt. 14: 22-33). There’s Mary who lets everything else fade, including her impatient sister, to sit in worship and learning at the feet of Jesus (Lk. 10:38-42). There’s Zacchaeus who forgets his pride and climbs up a tree to catch a glimpse of this Savior (Lk. 19:1-10). There’s the sinful woman who forgets decorum and washes the Savior’s feet with her tears and dries them with her hair (Lk. 7:36-50). These are all moments of worship—moments where everything fades but Jesus. It is His voice, His face, and His words that these followers crave and that makes everything else seem comparably dim.

So here’s my question for you: When was the last time you found yourself so caught up in the wonder and worship of Jesus that you truly forgot yourself? You forgot you had a schedule to keep, you forgot that tears mess up your mascara, you forgot that you were afraid of speaking in front of people, you forgot that you were saving that money for a long-awaited vacation, or you forgot that the homeless person asking for help smelled of urine and garbage.

If Jesus hasn’t made you forgetful lately, maybe it’s time to get re-acquainted with him. Be still and watch Him as He raises a little girl to life with a simple command (Mk. 5:41), as He calms the storm with a word (Mk. 4:39), or leaves a crowd of angry onlookers tossing their stones to the ground unwilling to be the first to judge (Jn. 8:9-10). Lose yourself in the wonder of His authority, His compassion, His wisdom, His strength and His meekness.

Or maybe it’s time to take a fresh look at how Jesus’ love for you made Him forget glory and take the form of frail human flesh. Look again at how He forgets His rights and stoops to wash the feet of His followers (Jn. 13:5). Follow Him on the road to Golgotha, the road where love for the Father and love of you, made Him forget the pain, forget the humiliation, forget the betrayal, forget the scorn and focus only the joy set before Him: the joy of glorifying His father by rescuing you.

Let love of Him make you bold and foolish and forgetful. Because the truth of the matter is: you are at your best when you forget yourself and see only Him.

Q) Is there a particular miracle or moment in Jesus’ ministry that draws you in and compels you to worship Him? Turn to that passage and spend some time getting lost in worship.

Pray on these things:
• That you would make time to simply worship at the feet of Jesus.
• That your love for Him would grow and produce boldness and selflessness.

Comments

  1. Oh, this! I am ever nearer to this — a life that worships Him over all else. I want to forget every thing else: what people might think, my fears . . . I want to be so focused on Him. Your words are a nudge ever closer.

  2. Gorgeous, friend! Thank you for this!

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