There is nothing sweeter in this world than pure, raw, true, honest love.
We enter this world, pulled from our mother’s womb by gravity itself, screaming and with clenched fists. As infants, our faces are red and angry—our hands are tight—we would rather go back to where we came from than stay here.
I often think of that picture when I think of being a Christian in this world. There is a frustration of knowing and experiencing Christ’s truth, beauty, and love and being temporarily trapped in a realm that is often filled with the opposite. As we are born with closed fists, if we are fortunate enough to have loving parents, we learn to open them. The skies clear a little as we understand there is someone who loves us, cares for us, and teaches us to survive and thrive.
No love can compare to that of a good mother’s, and we soon learn we are loved for just being here—not for what we do or not do.
We grow a little and gain the confidence to hurt others, and we gain a sense of entitlement to the land we stand upon—which oddly enough, never really mattered the day we arrived! We get angry, sad, hurt, jealous, and we may even realize that something is missing.
When humans realize something is missing, they start searching for it. They turn to different things; some retreat inward in order to self-perfect and self-correct, some outward in order to plug in something from this world that will suffice, and some wonder a lot about what went missing in the first place.
I wondered a lot. I carried a clenched fist for many years; it went with me everywhere I went. Then I happened upon meeting God, who quickly softened my hands and my way of thinking. Once my spirit was awake, I began to understand the sacrifice of Christ. The selfless love of my God exceeded that of my mother’s and my family’s and moved into my thoughts and actions.
Oh, how great is our God, how great is His love and mercy that he would give His only Son in order to cleanse me of my sins and bring me home into His kingdom!
I marveled at this miracle of being truly loved, redeemed, and understood. Who could ask for anything more—who dare ask for anything more than true freedom? But our Father loves us so, that He extends His house, His gifts, His blessings and wisdom to welcome us as His children. My heart sang in the presence of His miracles—the sea, my baby sister, true friends, towering forests and high hills, the views from airplanes, my new ability to love and forgive freely—all of these called for outbursts of genuine joy and praise.
What more did I need? Nothing. Christ is all I need.
Then another miracle happened… Nick. He came along and decided to love me no matter what I did or said or who I had been. There is the miracle of a mother’s love—they were built by God to love us—but then there is the unfathomable miracle of the person that chooses to love us.
Like God sending His own Son by choice despite our past as His people and our sin in order to make us family, Nick (being of no relation or obligation) decided to love me with all of him, marry me, and bring me into his family.
God loves us so much, not only does He gracefully bestow upon us His divine love we did not originally deserve, we enter this world, provided with a mother. What grace!
Then, if it be His will, God gives man and woman to one another! He allows them a great and passionate love, and rejoices in their marriage!
How great is our God? How full of grace and kindness is He? To give us love, without reserve, in abundance? To give us beauty and truth and mercy in this world!
I will leave this earth with my hands unclenched, open, palms-up, in praise to our Heavenly Father.
written on August 2, 2010—the second day of our marriage.