Because I love you.

I've been sick for a few days. Some upper respiratory thing going... combined with hacking cough that and a nice wheeze that makes me sound like a chronic smoker with asthma. And a headache that feels like the start of a migraine behind my right eye. So take that into account. I'm writing and I'm in a strange frame of mind.

I've been looking at people's posts and pictures for Father's Day. People giving honor and tribute to their husbands, fathers, etc. Lots of good memories and happy pictures on display. But I'm also imagining there are those that are sad today. Don't have a Father. Or didn't have a good Father. Those with pain of abandonment or rejection or absence or abuse. Or those whose Fathers have died and are no longer present on this earth. There is loss and grief mingled or pain that can accompany them with this holiday. I am so sorry for your pain and your loss.

I could choose to post about how wonderful a Dad my husband is. Or I could post about how grateful I am to have the Dad I have. But I'm not going to, even though those things are true.

 I got lost.

Lost in scrolling through my friends profile pictures on F.B. I scrolled through pictures of beautiful faces. Most looking glamorous or at least having their "best picture" face on.

And then I saw through it. Saw past the smiles. Past the fresh brushstrokes of well-made up faces and fine clothing. Past the artistic angles or funny and witty poses.

I saw people. I saw people who want to be loved and accepted. People who yearn for approval. People who want to have connection, to be touched and reached out to. People that want to be heard. People that want to know that "they've still got it"- that they're still funny, beautiful, smart, adventurous, brave, able, successful, purposeful, sweet, desirable, kind, generous, gifted, attractive, creative, lovely.... the list goes on.

It's as though I was seeing the world for the first time.

It's as though I saw how God sees them. How precious they are to Him. I saw past the different facial expressions, the different hair color, the different ages, shapes, sizes, the perfections, the flaws, and I saw something raw. I saw past the different circumstances, the socio-economic differences, the strengths and weaknesses.

And I saw how much we, all of us, need to be loved. Wholly and completely loved and accepted as we are.

And here's the thing. We are.

Us. broken. crazy. fragmented. Hurting. sick. destitute. desperate. people. 

We are loved beyond what any human words could say and beyond what we could possibly even begin to understand.

This crazy love. This God who put on flesh and dwelt among us came to love us. He bore our sin and died our death so we can be reunited with God the Father. He lived the most Amazing Love Story EVER. And He did it for us. He came for those who HATED him. Who abhorred him. Who loved sin. Who loved dwelling in our sickness and muck. He came for us, His enemies.

He lived a perfect life. Never once sinning, never once disobeying God the Father. He came to restore the broken, the sick, the lame. He came to bring life everlasting.

This Gospel is amazing. It flips everything upside down on its head. He didn't ask us to change who we are... to make ourselves clean first... to get fixed up.... He just tells us to come and follow Him. Jesus is the ONLY one who can clean us. The only One who can restore us. The only One who can heal us. He is the ONLY one who can judge and condemn us. And if our faith is in Him.... if we ask Him to be our righteousness, to forgive us of of our sins.... then we are forgiven. And we are given His perfect righteousness. We are no longer guilty or condemned but forgiven... seen as though we never sinned. His blood covers us. When God sees us in Christ it as though we always perfectly obeyed. It's pretty marvelous.

I, in myself, can be a pretty petty person. I am selfish. Proud. Believing I'm better than others. Jesus, the King of Kings, abased Himself, coming into this fallen world, and He became the servant of all. He loved people wholly and completely. He didn't place conditions. Or say, "If you do this, I will love you. If you change that, I will love you. If you be like so-and-so I will love you." He just loved. I want to love like that. He came to give life and life abundantly. I want to live like that. 

I want to put my heart on the line and step out of my comfort zone and love people as they really are. Because that's what Jesus did for me. And when people ask "why did you do that thing for me?"
 I want to be able to answer... Because I love you.


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