I first heard the words some weeks ago.
We were talking about something that was painful for me to see. Somewhere in our conversation we stopped to listen to what Jesus might be wanting to say to me in that uncomfortable place of not liking what I saw in myself and finding myself unable to fix it. And the invitation that came then has kept coming each day since, echoing through my fears and into my failures, His presence in my hopes and disappointments and uncertainties: “This is where I want to love you.”
Right here in your fear.
Right here in your not-yet-perfection.
Right here in the painful place of not being able to fix the things that you don’t like to see.
This is where I want to love you.
His words disarm my tendency to beat up on myself.
They replace my fear that God is disappointed with me with the truth that He delights in me.
They help me rest in His gentleness.
On Saturday I ran. I was getting my morning exercise. I was also trying to outrun the chorus which mocked me. As I stood at the end of my run with my ankle on the stairwell railing and bent at the waist to stretch, I saw it lying there on the rough hardness, right down near the cracks and the fallen fig leaves, the bits of grey gravel and the dirt off everyone’s feet—the pink petalled reminder, “This is where I want to love you.”
Welcome to the first of my summer series. Over the next three months I'll be looking back, leaning into God's repeated invitation to remember. I'll be asking, "What, right here in the middle of the year, the middle of life, the middle of a messy or happy or numbing day, do I most need to remember? What is the solid ground I need to feel under my feet in order to keep faithfully moving forward?" Today's repost from the archives is one of the truths that stands for me at the center of that answer: Whatever this moment holds, God is speaking into it, "This is where I want to love you."
Taking it deeper:
1. Our culture presses us to be constantly grabbing for the new—new possessions, new positions, new knowledge. But while God keeps inviting us onward and inward, into an ever deepening experience of His love, that forward movement is always grounded in remembering the past: "Remember that you were a slave . . . and the LORD your God redeemed you," (Deut 15:15; c.f. 5:15; 7:18; 8:2, 18; 9:7; 16:3,12; 24:9,18,22; 32:7), "Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead," (2 Tim 2:8), "Remember, then, what you have received and heard. Obey it, and repent" (Rev. 3:3). In the midst of your current situation, what do you most need to remember? What step might you take to help yourself remember? (posting a sticky note on your mirror or dashboard or fridge, making those words your screensaver for this week, setting an alarm to pause at noon to remember, and, of course, asking the God who longs to bring you deeper into His love to keep reminding you. . .)
2. Slow and let yourself hear the words spoken into your day, "This is where I want to love you." What happens inside you as you hear that voice? How does your heart want to respond?