I’ve been pondering what it truly means to be loved. How do I explain this to a world who thinks my belief in this love is nothing but ridiculous nonsense? Well, here’s a little of what it means to me…
The other day I was feeling distant from God. It had been a few days since I had really spent time centering myself in God, in the solitude that grounds me and brings meaning to the rest of my life. I was dog tired, and was fraying at the ends, snapping at my kids and struggling to keep my head above water. I was telling God this, just desperate for some sort of connection, and this is what I heard:
“I will come for you anywhere. Nothing will ever stop me. You’re worth it to me, and no one can take that away. You’re worth it.”
Just as a baby has no words to effectively or eloquently communicate, but can only cry, so my heart often can only cry out. And as a mother comes immediately, hands outstretched to swoop her baby up and meet her every need, so God comes running to us. Always. If you wonder if anyone is coming, I can assure you, God will come when you cry. That’s exactly why Jesus came to this weary and war-torn world: we, his beloved, were crying out. For something better, for rescue, for a way out of this mess of suffering and pain. Because “God SO LOVED the world,” Jesus came running.
If you fear everyone has abandoned you, I can assure you God is the exception. If you don’t have words to utter, just cry. He catches every tear and keeps them in a bottle. Just like a mother has learned the nuances of her baby’s cries, so God can determine our needs so much better than we can ourselves.
When we are out of words, we cry. And we wait. And God comes. God will always, always come for you. God will come to swoop you up and wrap you in love, in protection, provision, and will fight man and beast to rescue you. That’s what it means to be loved. You are loved, you are loved, you are loved, and this is what that means: there is ALWAYS someone coming for you. You are not abandoned.
This love that comes to me on the bathroom floor when I have no words left, but only tears, is the reason I’m here today. This love that persistently compels me to join in sharing love with others is what keeps me going.
“Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God.”
Isn’t it funny how it’s hard for a kid to perceive her parents as anything but, well, her parents. It’s a revelation for us when we discover that our mom is, in herself, apart from ourselves, a person. A person with a whole life before we ever existed. This is true of God. He existed before the world was birthed, and will go on existing without end. That same God has chosen to wrap his heart around children who can barely grasp the concept of him. He’s wrapped around our finger and he delights in us. Just like a mother is captivated by her baby’s every sound and smile, so God is captivated by us. That’s what it means to be loved.
If you’ve never experienced that love in a tangible way, find a time and a place to get quiet. You don’t have to know what to say. In fact, “if you’re real, show up,” will do just fine. I know many people who’ve prayed simply “help,” and that was all it took. I realize that all this might sound weird or hokey, but after all, what is faith without a little mystery? That’s part of the process.
If you’ve experienced this love, but you’re dog tired and fraying at the ends like I was, same goes for you: find a time or place to get quiet. If all you have are tears, that’s ok. Just lift whatever you have up to God, and he will come. Wait for him.