why love must be wild

I named this blog almost a year ago – the wild love.

I imagined that we would, that I would, live that way. I remember finding the name as I sat at work on a Friday afternoon, in the middle of the ending, with only a few weeks left before everything changed. I remember trying it out, running the syllables over my tongue like water. The wild love. It sounded right.

When I was born, my dad named me. I’ve heard the story told a thousand ways, and there is something precious and funny about it. My name, Hilary, means cheerful. My middle name, Joan, comes from John, and it means, God is gracious.

When you ask my dad how he came up with this name, he’ll tell you that Hilary just seemed right. He’d always loved the name – but it was decided almost like a lightning strike: this was what I was going to be called, and that was it. Joan is for a dear friend of my parents, and because, I think at the time, Hilary Joan sounded just right to them.

Hilary Joan. Cheerful, God is gracious.

If ever names might help us imagine who we are meant to become…

And now, my blog is just shy of a year old, taking its baby steps into the world. There have been a few posts that have made their mark on me, perhaps on you, dear readers. There has been a lot of pondering. There was been a lot of asking God in the midst of this, the hard of 22, how and why things are as they are. There has been hunger, and fulfillment, a confirmation, a wedding. There has been the loud voice of the Holy Spirit across the waters and my own timid replies.

But here I am, with this, the space that I have named, and I wanted to ask again – why must love be wild?

Because we are a people too desperate to love only inside the conventional, accepted boundaries. We are a people too hungry, too alive, too beautiful, too broken.

Love is wild because we are wild. Because we are made in the image of Someone Wild, Someone who sang out for freedom, who defied logic, who broke his Body and poured out his Blood and saved us once and every day.

Love is wild because there is a bird sitting inside our ribcage, like Emily Dickinson said, the thing with feathers perched in us, and the only way to hear it sing is to start singing.

I’m only just about a year into this blog and I named it something before I could have known how deeply I would want to become the very thing I had named.

I want to live with a wild love: a wild love for words, for readers, for strangers who I pass on the sidewalk and dear friends who stay up late on Sunday nights just to make sure I’m okay. I want to live with a wild love that hopes and forgives and says that “no” is sometimes a beautiful word and that “wait” is sometimes a promise and that “why?” is sometimes the answer itself.

I’m Hilary Joan – a name with meaning that still feels a little too big for me. And the blog still feels like that some days. But I want to link hands with you across these words, across these miles and time zones and ages, and love wild.



2 thoughts on “why love must be wild

  1. I don’t have to tell you that I love this name; It sends your writing off in a bold and much-needed direction. We’ve had that “edgy” conversation before-how so often it seems like no one wants to lend an ear to the gentle, tender parts of life. But I’m telling you, they are the most wild parts of all. And lest we get confused, when we write of these things, we are taking a risk-a great leap of faith. Wild love may be gentle, but it is never safe. I admire you for your courage, Hilary Joan.

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