Monday, 11 April 2011

To make you feel my love

“When the rain
Is blowing in your face
And the whole world
Is on your case
I could offer you
A warm embrace
To make you feel my love”

Adele’s recent album 21 has broken the record for the number of weeks a female artist has remained at the top of the UK charts, and she is also having huge success in most other European countries, and in the US. 21 is currently the most downloaded album on itunes. I first came across Adele last year when I heard her sing Bob Dylan’s song “Make you feel my love” (from her first album 19), and immediately starred it on my Spotify library.   Her deep soul voice, accompanied by piano, seem to fit perfectly with this song, bringing out all its emotions. At the time I was struggling a bit with different things – and I got real comfort from listening to this song.

To “make you feel my love” is a song about fidelity and love, about someone who is always there for you, who takes care of you, who would go to the ends of the earth for you. It is about someone who loves you just as you are, however you happen to be. It’s also about transformation, about how being open to being loved, and loving someone back transforms.

Of course this song best describes the love between two people. However, as a Christian, and as I am also training to be a priest, it also speaks to me of God’s love for me. One of the main reasons that I decided to become a priest was out of an experience of a personal relationship with God, with Jesus. I have some friends who think that it’s crazy to thing of someone having a personal relationship with God, talking to Jesus etc. But the Christian God is a personal God, who loves and cares for each person, and invites us into relationship with God. How can we experience God’s love for us?

I think it is primarily through other people, loved ones, family and friends. I became quite ill suddenly a number of years ago on two separate occasions, before I joined the Jesuits. To this day I am still thankful and get emotional thinking of how my friends dropped what they were doing and helped me. I was helpless, and they helped me, brought me to the hospital, visited me, and made sure that I was being looked after. I know to this day that I can count on them, I might not see them for months at a time, but I know that if I need help, they are there, no questions asked. And I like to think that I would do the same for them.

It is experiences like this, and many others, especially with family and loved ones, that have given me some sense of God’s love for me. However, it was often on retreats that I was lead into an experience a personal loving God. Psalm 139 and Isaiah 43:1-7 reflect the same themes as found in Bob Dylan’s song – someone who loves unconditionally and completely. Psalm 139, 9-10: “If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there you right hand shall hold me fast.” Isaiah 43 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… because you are precious in my sight, and honoured, and I love you…”.  As Christians, we believe that Jesus died out of love for each of us, personally. “I’d go hungry I’d go black and blue.. (I’d die for you); to make you feel my love” (italics added).

Adele’s success had been partly attributed to the recession, and peoples need for reassurance in times of turbulence. In times of difficulty we are reminded of what and who are important to us. It is in our relationships with others that we feel loved and where we can love. As Christians, this love is reflected in a personal relationship with Jesus, who loves us unconditionally, personally, just as we are, and invites us to respond.

“I could make you happy
Make your dreams come true
Nothing that I wouldn't do
Go to the ends
Of the Earth for you
To make you feel my love”

(To listen to this song it's free to stream on spotify, or can buy from itunes).

1 comment:

We'd love to hear what you think, but please remember to keep it on point and civil. All comments are moderated.