Bearing the Beams of Love // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

“We are put on earth a little space,” said poet, William Blake, “that we may learn to bear the beams of love.”
What does bearing the beams of love mean?

1. The Risk of Receiving It
When the bright light of true love shines into our lives, our natural tendency is to scamper away like frightened mice and hole up in a good hiding place.

Hiding is much safer than loving. You can hide from a distance. If you’re going to love, you have to do it up close. That brings the possibility of pain. Loving can hurt.

The beams of love shine the light of truth on any given situation. Sometimes, we don’t want the complete truth to be known. If we linger in the shadows, we do not have to face the truth about ourselves.

Exposing ourselves to the beams of love brings a certain vulnerability and risk that many are unwilling to take.

You can hardly live without loving, however. Attempting to do so brings despair. You might be “safe” behind cast iron emotional walls – but you will be merely existing and not living.

Loving brings a share of suffering – but not loving causes greater pain.

2. The Burden of Bearing It.
Though taking liberty with Blake’s intentions, I find a second meaning in the phrase “bear the beams of love.”

This is thinking of them as burdens (logs or planks) rather than brightness (sunbeams.)

We are called to carry the heavy beams of love on our shoulders.

The truth of the matter is this: Love requires us to carry the burdens of others. It goes much deeper than a “loving feeling”. Personal sacrifice is part of the package.

Love is inconvenient. If you “love” someone only at the convenience level, you really are not loving at all – you’re using.

Genuine love is a selfless commitment to be there for the other person.

We are called to bear the beams – but somehow, loving makes the burden lighter. As the old folk ballad says, “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.”

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