Monday, December 10, 2012

Chocolate and Love Letters

When my son (who is fortunate to be 8) was about 3 years old, I opened the back door and let him go play outside. Outside waiting for him was his second momma, a dog named Kelly. She was a Shepherd-Chow-Heeler mix. Herding was her nature, and if the kids did anything out of line or that she didn’t like, she would bark at them until they stopped. This particular time I didn’t get to the backyard in time, so Pearce came inside. Around his beautiful, little mouth was a dark rim, and there was something dark on his shirt. I confess the first thing I thought of was, This boy has found my stash of chocolate! Putting my hands on my knees, I leaned down so I would be face-to-face with this precious child. Pearce, have you been eating chocolate? He grinned. No ma’am. I haven’t eaten any chocolate. It was about this time that I saw the darkness on his tongue and caught a whiff of his breath and knew he was telling me the truth. Remember, he had just come in from the backyard where the dog was. What have you been doing? I asked. Making snowballs. Pearce, it’s April. There’s no snow. He grinned again. I know! I used mud and pretended it was snow. About now I’m starting to freak out, but before I do, I’m able to ask, Pearce, did you like it? He said, No ma’am. I’m not going to eat that again. Thank you, Jesus, for small miracles.

Psalm 34:8 says, Taste and see that the Lord is good. By digging deeper in the Word of God, you see this is an invitation for you to try God, to explore who He is and what He does in the lives of those He loves. Unlike the mud that my son ate, you will find that God’s Word is good. It is his love letter to us. Love letters are becoming a lost art. Now that we have texting, Facebook, Facetime, and instant messages, the art of writing a love letter is being lost. I think of women in my Mammaw’s generation. My Pappaw was a cook in the Navy during WWII. Women with spouses and boyfriends fighting in the war would receive love letters. They would pour over these letters. Reread the letters. Cry over the letters and show them to their family and friends.

The Bible is God’s love letter to us. What are you doing with it? Are you pouring over it? Are you reading it over and over again? Are you crying over it? Are you sharing it with your friends and family? Starting in Genesis through Revelations, God shows us how much he loves us and what he has done to pursue us. He shows how he sacrificed for us. John 15:13 says, Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends. That’s what God’s love letter says to you. That is what God has done for you.

His sacrifice meant stripping Jesus of the benefits of heaven, clothing him in flesh, exposing him in the vulnerability of a baby, dealing with humanity in its depravity and dying the most excruciating and humiliating death imaginable. He did all of that for me – his willful, ADHD daughter who would be in fist fights with boys in elementary, would forge a failed math test in middle school, and who would have multiple stupid human tricks in high school and college. He did that for me – his daughter who would struggle with submission and obedience. He created me even though he that I would cost him the life of His only Son. He knew you before you breathed your first breath and knows every day of your life, and yet, He created you anyway. Yes, Taste and see that the Lord is good. Happy is he who finds his refuge in the Lord. This is a love affair that will never end, and a love affair for which I am eternally grateful.

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