He had always loved those who were his own in the world, and he loved them all the way to the end. (Jn. 13:1)

Give thanks to the Lord because he is good. His love continues forever. (Ps. 136:1)

Moms, I have a question: Why do you love your newborn? I know, I know, it’s a silly question. Indulge me. Why do you?

For months this baby has brought you pain. She (or he) made you break out in pimples and waddle like a duck. Because of her you craved sardines and crackers and threw up in the morning. She punched you in the tummy. She occupied space that wasn’t hers and ate food she didn’t fix.

You kept her warm. You kept her safe. You kept her fed. But did she say thank you?

Are you kidding? She’s no more out of the womb than she starts to cry! The room is too cold, the blanket is too rough, the nurse is too mean. And who does she want? Mom.

She didn’t even tell you she was coming. She just came. And what a coming! She rendered you a barbarian. You screamed. You swore. You bite bullets and tore the sheets. And now look at you. Your back aches. Your head pounds. Your body is drenched in sweat. Every muscle strained and stretched.

You should be angry, but are you?

Far from it. On your face is a for-longer-than-forever love. She has done nothing for you, yet all you can talk about are her good looks and bright future. She’s going to wake you up every night for the next six weeks, but that doesn’t matter. I can see it on your face. You’re crazy about her.


* * * * * * * *

God, I have a question: Why do you love your children? I don’t want to sound irreverent, but only heaven knows how much pain we’ve brought you. Why do you tolerate us? You give us every breath we breathe, but do we thank you? You give us bodies beyond duplication, but do we praise you?


We complain about the weather. We bicker about our toys. We argue over who gets which continent and who has the best gender. Not a second passes when someone, somewhere doesn’t use your name to curse a hammered thumb or a bad call by the umpire. (As if it were your fault.)

You fill the world with food, but we blame you for hunger. You keep the earth from tilting and the Arctic’s from thawing, but we accuse you of unconcern. You give blue skies, and we demand rain. You give rain, and we demand sun. As if we knew what was best, anyway.

We give more applause to a brawny ball-carrier than we do the God who made us. We sing more songs to the moon than to the Christ who saved us. We are a gnat on the tail of one elephant in the galaxy of Africa’s and yet we demand that you find us a parking place when we ask. And if you don’t give us what we want, we say you don’t exist. As if our opinion matters.

We pollute the world you loan us. We mistreat the bodies you gave us. We ignore the Word you sent us. And we killed the Son you became. We are spoiled babies who take and kick and pout and blaspheme.

You have every reason to abandon us.

I sure would! I would wash my hands of the whole mess and start over on Mars. But do you?

I see the answer in the rising of the sun. I hear the answer in the crashing of the waves. I feel the answer in the skin of a child.

Father, your love never ceases. Never. Though we spurn you, ignore you, disobey you, you will not change. Our evil cannot diminish your love. Our goodness cannot increase it. Our faith does not earn it anymore than our stupidity jeopardizes it. You don’t love me less if I fail. You don’t love me more if I succeed.

Your love never ceases.

How do we explain it?

The answer is found in the eyes of the mother. Why does she love her newborn? Because the baby is hers? Even more. Because the baby is her. Her blood. Her flesh. Her sinew and spine. Her hope. Her legacy. It bothers her not that the baby gives nothing. She knows a newborn is helpless, weak. She knows babies don’t ask to come into this world.

And God knows we didn’t either.

We are his idea. We are his. His face. His eyes. His hands. His touch. We are him. Look deeply into the face of every human being on earth and you will see his likeness. Though some appear to be distant relatives, they are not. God has no cousins, only children.

We are, incredibly, the body of Christ. And though we may not act like our Father, there is no greater truth than this: We are his. Unalterably. He loves us. Undyingly. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of Christ. (Rom. 8:38, 39)

Had God not said those words, I would be a fool to write them. But since he did, I’m a fool not to believe them. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. But how difficult to embrace this truth.

You think you’ve committed an act which places you outside his love. A treason. A betrayal. An aborted promise. You think, he would love you more if you hadn’t done it, right? You think he would love you more if you did more, right? You think if you were better, his love would be deeper, right?

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

His love is not human. His love is not normal. His love sees your sin and loves you still. Does he approve of your error? No. Do you need to repent? Yes. But do you repent for his sake or yours? Yours. His ego needs no apology. His love needs no bolstering.

And he could not love you more than he does right now.


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