It’s a little past 3 a.m. and I can’t sleep and I can’t stop thinking about something my 3 year old, Desmond, said at bedtime. In an attempt to settle my thoughts, I will tap this blog out on my cell phone in a quiet living room, in a warm and safe home, on a cold December morning.
Desmond: I keep thinking about robbers.
Me: Don’t worry, I can beat them up.
Desmond: You can’t beat them up.
Me: You don’t think I would?…well, remember? God is bigger than bad guys.
Desmond: But God loves them.
Me: That’s true, buddy.
Desmond: Do you trust God to beat up the robbers?
Me: I trust God to protect us.
Desmond: I can’t quit trusting God. Can’t quit trusting God, can’t quit trusting God.
A lot of things can try to steal your joy…sometimes you don’t even know it is happening. Desmond’s security felt threatened by his imagination…surely influenced by some sort of media. He is only 3 years old but he doesn’t hesitate to point out that God chooses love over violence. Jesus endured torture as a ransom sacrifice for every last one of us–just the way we are, because He is crazy about us. I could only listen in awe as Desmond repeated that he “can’t quit trusting God”.
God’s not finished.
While you’re waiting…
There’s work to be done.
People to love.
43-47 “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
48 “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”
And this is why I’ve been awake since 2 a.m.
Who is going to believe in a hope that we don’t trust? Who is going to fall in love with a love that we don’t live? Who will value life if we devalue life?
Who will love if I don’t love?