“Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Think of your worst moment in history. The day you know you messed up. Depending on your age, your “worst” might vary from someone else’s “worst”. Growing up in church, there were a lot of things I considered to be the “worst” things someone could do, they were labeled “sins”. Murder, adultery, stealing—those seemed like they should be much higher on the list than say lying or wishing you had your neighbor’s car. Yet, I was told it was all laid out the same to God. Sin was sin.
Looking at someone lustfully, committing adultery, wishing your husband treated you like your friend’s husband—all of it fell into the same category. It was all sin, and all of it separated us from God. Even though I spent my entire life listening to the Bible I still couldn’t quite grasp the concepts of sin and forgiveness.
Eventually, I found myself getting tired of the “rules”. With those kinds of standards, what was the point? Accepting I was a filthy wretched whore and would never measure up seemed like the only option. Forget trying to check all the right boxes, it would be better to live life to the fullest without any regrets. I knew God offered forgiveness so what would be the harm in living a little?
The moment I decided to blur the lines between what God said was right and what I thought was right, things got messy. They got over-the-top, knife-to-the-heart kind of messy real fast. Throwing all the “rules” out the window felt much more regrettable than I would have imagined. Yet, I continued down the road. You don’t need to know every detail to understand. My “worst” moment came when I disregarded the love and commitment of my husband and sought the acceptance and admiration of another. I felt needed, I felt wanted, I felt beautiful…I was my own worst enemy.
I knew I was heading down the wrong path, I could feel it in my gut, but I continued on thinking there was no way to correct the path I’d chosen. No way to make amends or find redemption. I had enough head knowledge to know God could forgive me and he would forgive me, but my heart said he should not forgive me. Interesting how pride works, isn’t it?
In the middle of this storm, as I assessed all the damage this mess would most likely cost me, I heard a soft whisper. I didn’t want to hear it; I didn’t want to believe it. This whisper didn’t align with the mess I had created for my life. Clearly, and without hesitation, I heard, “I love you. I love you here.”
Why? Why would anybody love me where I was at? I didn’t even love me where I was at. My life felt like I had dove into a pile of manure, rolled around in vomit, and laid out in the sun to bake it all in. (Seriously, you want a visual of what sin looks like to God, that hardly does it justice.) Yet, here was this gentle voice, which I knew was the Holy Spirit of God saying, “I love you.”
The warmth of His whisper melted into every part of my soul, nothing else mattered. Not the acceptance I was trying to earn, not the outcome of how the truth might affect my life. I wanted to stay in the warmth of this love.
Welcome to the reckless love of God. A love unlike anything mankind could ever attempt to offer one another. No matter what dirt we’ve rolled around in, no matter how shameful we feel, God continues to love us. When we turn away, when we run away, when we think we’ve chased Him off for good—He’s still there with open arms whispering, “I love you.”
All we need to do is accept it, that simple.
Why would the Creator of beautiful sunsets and spectacular mountain ranges care about someone as insignificant as me? Why would someone who has the power to make anyone bow before Him, give me the choice to love Him? I don’t know but he does. All the unanswered questions I have are what make it such a beautiful reckless love.
I am flawed. There are times I am selfish, unempathetic, and even calloused to the world around me; yet God refuses to allow my mess to separate me from Him. This is reckless love. It is breath-takingly beautiful and it drops me to my knees in adoration and worship of Him who offers it.