Every so often God leads us into a space so sacred, it’s hard to breathe.The overwhelming sense of His presence fills us up to such a degree, our heart physically aches…in every good way. I had one of these moments last night at a Lauren Daigle concert.
This morning I’m asking myself why it too often takes a big moment to experience such profound love.
Why don’t we begin our days, experience our days, and end our days with the same overwhelming sense of awe and wonder? Every day is an opportunity to enjoy the fruits of this tree of life from which we bend. Each moment before us is, in some way, cause for heart thumping, soul bending gratitude.
The ordinary calls for a prudent pause to inhale the gifts we’ve been given deep into our cells just as much as the extraordinary. Lauren Daigle reminds us of this truth with the powerful lyrics in her song, “Love Like This.” Listening to her belt out, “what have I done to deserve love like this?” wrecks me every time.
What *have* we done to deserve a love like His? What have we done to deserve a family who we can love and who loves us? What have we done to deserve friends who circle us in compassion and cheer us forward? What have we done to deserve teachers who care for our kids, men and women who risk their lives for our safety? What have we done to deserve a roof over our head, food to eat, clothes to wear?
Last night I was overcome as I absorbed these love bombs and more. For all the pain and brokenness we lug around from the past or experience in real time, Jesus meets us in all of it. He sends a torrent of healing in the form of the people He sends into our life and the orchestration of countless ‘on purpose’ experiences He walks us through.
He meets us in the darkness, stands with us in our rage, comforts us in our doubts and worry, carries us through our fear, encourages us through our desperation, lifts us out of the pit, and presses His finger into our selfishness, pettiness, and pride. Most of all, He runs full steam into the moments we forget to appreciate His love and wraps us in His arms anyway. Reminding us He is always there, no matter what. Loving us as is, in all our weakness, shame, and less than moments.
What have we done to deserve love like this?
Lauren’s new (amazing) album is called “Look Up Child.” Jesus longs for us to look up every day and see the love all around us. Even when the world looks scary and full of all kinds of ugly, love is all around us. Even when we’re exhausted, frustrated, burned out from the daily grind, love is everywhere. It’s in the cracks and crevices of our busyness, in the beams of light bending through the trees, in the smiles of our children, in the care and concern of a co-worker, in acts of kindness between strangers. Love is everywhere.
Every day we have the choice to pause and reflect on the gifts we have *right now.* We don’t need a magnificent event to fill us to the brim with gratitude and knowing. We are always standing on holy ground, surrounded by gifts worthy of recognition. The God—love—in us is ALWAYS sharing sacred space with the God in others.
What have we done to deserve love like this?
Nothing. We cannot earn what He freely gives. We are recipients of His love offering as a ‘just because’ gift. Jesus sends down a wash of love just because He can, and more importantly, just because He wants nothing more than to do so.
Isn’t this the same reason we pour our heart and soul into our children? The reason we love them so much it hurts?
I want to love Jesus so much it hurts every day, not just in moments like last night. He deserves a love like this. We show Him this love by loving others the same: our spouse, children, friends, strangers, the mean-spirited, the lost, the “others.” Just because we can. Just because we should.
But it’s often so dang hard to do in our humanness. Impossible really. Yet, if God thinks we deserve a love like this, in all our sin, why shouldn’t the person standing next to us deserve the same? He can love them for us, through us. We just need to commit to the allowing.
Last night I sat behind a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, a Naomi and Ruth, who grasped hands, embraced one another, and held their arms high in praise and worship throughout the concert. I cried half the night just because, as I told them after, “I love your love.”
Lord, help us all to love the love we see, to love the love we are, to be the love you need, and to love the love we receive.
Thank you, Lauren Daigle, for your beautiful spirit.
A version of this post originally appeared on Facebook at Shelby Spear, Finding Grace in the Mishmash. Published with permission.