I don’t say much about my parents when I write, other than what a difficult time they must have had raising four kids like us. I had much better parents than most yet I would have to say that much of their job of parenting was difficult and often discouraging.
There were the normal things, like having to deal with why I would think that using the basement door of the house which contained three windows as a backstop when teaching my sister to hit a baseball. Of course, she missed the ball and the ball went through one of the windows and dad had to talk to me wondering how I could ever had thought would ever possibly work out in a good way at all.
One kid can do twenty stupid things in one day easily. It doesn’t matter if he is two or twelve, the ability doesn’t go away. Four kids can increase that number exponentially to around one thousand. A stay at home mom doesn’t have a chance and a dad coming home from work to the aftermath of a seeming contest where the winner is the one that wreaks the most havoc is bound to lose his ability to say to the family, “Gee, it’s great to be home.”
We weren’t bad kids (depending on who you ask), we were kids that didn’t have all these modern things to make us sit still in front of a TV and pretend we were killing vampires. We were accustomed to running the streets and yards of the neighborhood and settling in our beds out of sheer exhaustion when mom could finally slow us down.
Life got more complicated as we got older and it got no easier to be our parents. I even got to the point that I didn’t want parents really. I wanted extra money if I needed it and a place to sleep. I was ungrateful and selfish and neglected them because I was simply more important to myself.
On the day I was born, my mom and dad looked down at me (I don’t actually remember this but I have been told by reliable sources) and they loved me. Later, my diaper was a disaster zone and they still loved me. I cried too much and they still loved me. I couldn’t possibly make them love me more or less. They just loved me and would always love me.
I broke their hearts, they loved me. I did everything wrong for weeks and months and years on end that tore them apart and they still loved me. They were not perfect people, just regular old people, and in the midst of their flaws and struggles I was loved even when I did not return that love.
Why do I find it so hard to believe that God in all of his perfect unfailing love can switch his love for me to the “off” position over the slightest transgression?
He loved me in my creation, my birth, my throwing baseballs through the windows, my stupid decision-making that I chose to disallow him to be involved in, my defiance of his authority, my disobedience, my collapse, my wallowing in dung and ashes, my self-loathing.
There was no decision made by me to allow him to love me. He just did. This is love that never fails. No amount of garbage I can attach to it or distant I can run from it can change it one little bit because to change God’s love for me would change God himself. He will not change.
1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Me, nor you or any group of people residing on this planet or angels or demons, not even the devil himself can change God and we are partakers of his love. My success or failure is not a factor. I am loved, I am the beloved, I am walking, rather clumsily, in love and that can not be changed by dynamite, nuclear bombs or hurricanes.
If my parents can get a handle on this love thing and manage to have loved me through a lot of self-inflicted stupidity on my part, God can surely continue to be who he is and that is one that loves me.
Period. Beginning of story.