How can I tell the story of unhindered love when I, myself, am still learning to live in it? I can’t begin to comprehend the fullness of it. I can only share what God has given me to ponder and pray, and hope that it will either add to or confirm what He has begun in you.
Unhindered love begins with knowing you are loved and running to the mercy—or loving kindness—of God expressed through Jesus—His Son—who covered our sins once and for all with His life blood that we might be reconciled to our Father. Jesus blood sacrificed and sprinkled on the mercy seat—which symbolizes the throne from which God ruled Israel—made it possible for us to come and dwell in His presence and His love without fear of punishment. Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of the law. Because of Jesus there is no longer the need for the veil of separation between man and God.
We can live loved because God first loved us and His love is the basis for our mercy—or loving kindness—towards each other. Knowing how much He loves us gives us the grace, empowerment, and enablement by which we love Him and others without hindrance. Love can flow freely to us and through us. It’s a constant choice we make to freely receive and freely give love without conditions.
So, why is it sometimes so difficult to receive and to extend love? When we live according to the thou shalt and thou shalt not requirements of the law—which we cannot fulfill—we are not able to freely receive and freely give the gift of love. We feel we have to earn it and others have to earn it, too. This places a self-imposed veil over our hearts that separates us from God—who is love—and from others.
But in the grace and mercy of Christ Jesus—our Savior— the veil is removed and in His Spirit there is liberty. Liberty to live loved, in face to face intimacy with our Maker. Yes—we are enabled by the grace of his Spirit in us to live loved without hindrance as “we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18 NKJV).
Is there anything standing in the way of love in our lives? Could it be the law of unforgiveness, hardness of heart, bitterness, pain, fear, or the need for salvation? Most of us struggle from time to time with loving the unlovely. Which is why—I believe—the Lord gave me the songs— “Mercy Seat”* sung by Vicki Yohe and “The Power of Your Love”* sung by Rebecca St. James—for intercession and worship while painting “Unhindered Love.” Their lyrics speak of our great need to know and receive His love and His grace so that we can to come into His presence without fear. Understanding our need helps us to understand with compassion the needs of others.
With the love of God in mind—as I began to paint “Unhindered Love”—I saw how the colors streaming out of the heart and down the canvas resembled a veil. However—instead of covering or hiding the heart—this colorful veil represents the colors and array of God’s love which “covers a multitude of sins” (I Peter 4:8 NIV). By the way—did I mention that there just happened to be a bridal veil on display for a wedding when I arrived at the 24/7 worship center to begin this painting. That’s what I call a God-incidence—the intentional love of God at work in our midst.
On that note, I leave you with His final word to me on this painting. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Luke 6:38 NIV).
* “Yohe, Vicki. “Mercy Seat.” Steve Richardson, writer/composer. “Everlasting Love.” Giant Records, Forest, MS. 1994. CD. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6swc2-iixnI
** St. James, Rebecca. “The Power of Your Love.” Geoff Bullock, Mark Carouthers, Jeff Harpole, writers/composers. Album: “Live Worship, Blessed Be Your Name.” Forefront Records. 2004. CD. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTasFRrFN3g
By, Ginger E. Mosher
© All rights reserved by Ginger E. Mosher