Most of my spiritual life, I have interacted with God as Creator. I saw Him as Good – all knowing, all powerful, a part of every bit of creation. I could trust Him to hold all things together.
God took me a step deeper to walking with Jesus as friend and dear brother. This man, Yeshua, loved me. I could feel his love physically throughout my body. His complete acceptance of me floored me. His love was perfect — what I had known (head known), I now knew (heart knew, experienced).
As a part of this time, the question was posed to me “Who in your life needs to know that they are not a disappointment to God?” You see, I was learning that nothing I do can disappoint the Father, or my dear brother Yeshua, who is bigger than our actions and not surprised by them. So, He can not be disappointed. My dad immediately popped into my head. However, to tell my dad that God was not disappointed in him was ludicrous. He doesn’t even believe in God.
Later, Thomas asked us who in our lives might need to know that their life is worth celebrating. Again, my dad popped into my head. Crazy, crazy idea. However, I knew that because I was loved perfectly, there was no reason for me NOT to call my dad. Though it may be hard, I could not be hurt by it. I did not need to stay safe behind a wall of my own making to protect myself. I could trust. So, with shaking hands and a quaking heart, I called and I told him that though he does not believe, I believe that the God I have put my trust in is not disappointed in him and not only that, but that the life my dad has lived is worth celebrating. And for about 20 minutes after the call ended, my body and soul continued to shake.
As I had been learning to walk closely with Yeshua, I had also been learning that there is a place in my own heart that is dark. The light of His love and kindness revealed that to me. And so, when Thomas asked us “Who would you be embarrassed to sit with?“, my honest answer was: “Myself – if that dark part of me was known.”
Through all this, my soul has been on a journey. From knowing God as Creator to loving Yeshua as dear brother and friend, to experiencing the love of my loving Father. He has shown me that He, as my kind and loving Father, walks in those dark places with me. He is not surprised by them. No! In fact, not only is He not surprised…He walks through those dark, rotting places with ease. They don’t deter Him, don’t surprise Him, don’t disappoint Him.
And so I ask myself, in light of all of this, “What is love? What does love require?”.
My answer is…
Love requires entering into the depths of humanity with another person.
Love is not detaching, not unconsciously turning away.
Loving is seeing another person’s sacred humanness, their brokenness. And then simply being with.
Love is being with Jesus as He hung on the cross – though I want to turn my eyes.
Love is the Father being with me as I journey into the darker places of my heart – though I would rather hide.
Love is calling my dad – though I would rather not risk.
It is not making life perfect, it is not creating a Jesus without scars that fits into my self-designed image of Him. It is accepting Him, nail scars and all. It is accepting me, darkness and all. It is accepting those around me, brokenness and all.
Written by Lindsey Rowe