Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Unfinished Thoughts on God's Love

About a month ago, I stood in the dark night below a field of crisp stars and felt my utter and complete insignificance.

I was running a retreat at Vision of Peace. We were having the first beautiful, spring-like weather we'd had in four months. I stood in a clearing on a bluff alongside the Mississippi River and gazed in absolute awe at a slice of the night sky, just a sliver of the universe, before me.

Who am I that God, the creator of this amazing, magnificent, vast universe, even notices me?

But it goes way beyond just noticing me, doesn't it? God does so much more than merely take notice of us, miniscule clumps of atoms and molecules, bopping around on one of the millions of rocks floating in His universe.

He loves us.

He knows us so well that He counts the hairs on our heads.

He died for us.

As I stood in that clearing, I asked the questions aloud. "How? Why? Who am I that you even notice me?"

These questions have peppered my prayer time for the past month. How? Why? And, hidden in there, am I worthy?

Does God love each of us as his own beloved child? Yes. I can say unequivocally that I know this to be true. Because I believe that Jesus Christ is the second person in the Holy Trinity, that he is God himself, and because I know that Jesus Christ lived in and around Jerusalem about 2,000 years ago, and allowed himself to be tortured and executed in a horribly painful way, I am certain that God's love is absolute.

But I still don't understand it.

Sacred Scripture tells me this: "We love because He first loved us" (1 Jn. 4:19) and "This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." (1 Jn. 4:10)

Everything that I know about love, as a human, a daughter, a wife, a parent, all of it, I learned from God. I love because He first loved me.


Miniscule little me, full of way too much ego and way too little humility.

He loves me. (And you, too).

I don't really know where this post is going or what I wanted to say here... so I will just open it up to conversation in the comment box. If you have some thoughts to add, a perspective that can give me a better context, please chime in.


  1. Worthiness and love are foreign to one another. Worth focuses on qualities, values, accomplishments; love focuses on the mysterious something that is the core of the individual. Even for God, who knows you through-and-through, perfectly, better than you know yourself, He is smitten with you. Why? Not because of anything that you have done, though those good deeds make you a larger vessel, if you will, which can be filled by Him.

    He loves you simply because He is Jesus and you are Jen. He desires to give everything to you, and desires for you to give everything to Him. That is, of course, the standard of love-- love desires to exhaust itself by giving everything.

  2. Sometimes I see this in comparison to my folks wanted me, loved me, before they even held me and had a chance to look at me. They claimed me right off, no questions asked, no returning me for any defects. They knew I needed love, deserved to be love. I see God's love that way. He knew us before we even were visible to the rest of the world and claims us as his. No returns, refunds, no exchanges. To him we are perfect, worthy, lovable...he claims us. We are his, and until we meet face-to-face, he has loaned each of is to the rest of the world so that we might touch it in some small creating family, friends, caring for each other and making our lives full of prayer and thankfulness.

  3. Carrie and Kathy,

    Thank you for your comments. Lots of good food for prayer. I'm off on a weekend retreat, and will take your thoughts with me.

    More sometime next week.