Because He loves us
So, I had an idea for a post. I had something roughly sketched out in my head, and at 8:30 AM NY time I was sitting at my parents’ iMac, and I had started writing a post. It was going to be alright, not my best, not terribly deep, but it was coherent and organized. It was going to be about family, and about how the Kingdom of God is like my parents house, full of food & laughter & love, but always with room for one – or twelve – more.
Unfortunately, at 8:30 yesterday morning I was smack dab in the middle of a pretty heated fight with my 20-year-old brother, and I wasn’t exactly feeling full of the love of family & the Kingdom of God. And, at about 8:42 as I fought my way through a second paragraph, I got a text from said knuckle-headed brother and all motivation & inspiration went out the window.
The details of the fight are pretty irrelevant now. Suffice it to say that my brother is 20, and like all 20-year-olds, his frontal lobe has not fully developed, so sometimes he acts like a complete moron. I, on the other hand, am 28, pregnant, impatient, and – obviously – know everything. We are both ruthless, mean, vindictive Irish sobs, so arguments escalate quickly. It was not pretty.
Ogie, who is a better & more loving person than I am, kept encouraging me to show grace. “Yes, he is a 20-year-old twerp, yes, he is being inconsiderate – he is your brother, and you love him, and you probably won’t see him again for a year, so suck it up, apologize, and make it right.”
(And, it should be mentioned, I was hardly being my most gracious & considerate self, either.)
Well, thank God for my husband, because at his insistance, I did finally make it right with Kevin, and as we hugged good bye this afternoon I squeezed him a little tighter. Let me explain, this is a picture of my brother, Kevin:
And while, thanks to his particular enlistment (in the National Guard) his deployment is less likely (and, certainly less imminent) than many other brothers & sons, it’s not impossible.
But, more importantly than that, he is my little brother, and I love him – even when I am so angry at him I could spit.
You may be surprised to learn that my family is not perfect. But, as I’m sitting here in the airport, waiting to board the long flight back to the barren desert, I can’t think of a single thing about any of them them that I don’t love, or which I wouldn’t gladly put up with if I just didn’t have to go back to Arizona.
And, it strikes me – sitting here in this air-conditioned, fluorescent-lit, soft-rock-piped near approximation of Hell – it strikes me that this is just the tiniest fraction of how God loves us. Yes, we frustrate Him, yes, we hurt him sometimes, and He knows well that we are far from perfect – we are all imperfect sinners. And He loves us anyway. He loves us wholly & completely, and He never wants to be apart from us.
The deep sorrow I feel now, staring at the deep green trees past the tarmac, desperate to stay – is just a drop of the deep sorrow that God feels every time we turn our back on Him, & choose to sin.
And, y’know what? This really sucks.
So, there you go. I have wrung a lesson from this at long last.
And obviously, in the end, we’re all supposed to go forth & sin no more – but maybe, for me, after considering this feeling, I’ll get my butt back to confession a week or two earlier. Maybe it’s the pull I need to pause before the next time I give Him the figurative finger.
Maybe. At least I know I’d try.