Tuesday, September 15, 2009

God's Love Is Like...

God's Love is like...


And no, I'm not talking about sweet tea. Or any kind of iced tea. I love hot tea, drink it every day, even when it's 95 degrees outside and I start sweating the second I get out of bed. I just love hot tea. I go to the grocery store and stand in front of the tea section looking at all the different choices that await: white tea and green tea and oolong tea and tea from Africa and Asia and corners of the world unknown. Each box contains a mystery of scents and tastes that delight.

Tea warms my entire body. I get this warmth that starts in my chest and moves outward to the extremities. It leaves a wondrous feeling in my whole being, as though I am now better off because whatever chill I had has left. It leaves a presence in my body even after I have finished it.

But I have to be careful with tea. I'll often wait ten, fifteen, twenty minutes before I drink it, scared of burning myself due to the extreme heat. Sometimes I'll still be sipping on it an hour after I have made it, only then finding the temperature just right to drink it.

I also forget about my tea. Rachel gives me a hard time because I'll often make tea and then come back much later to find a lukewarm mug of tea sitting on the counter, brewed at some unknown point when it sounded so wonderful, only to become distracted by something else and abandon it on the counter.

God's love shares all these attributes with tea. God's love comes in so many wonderful colors: the orange of the sunset, the green of new leaves, the pink of a newborn child, the deepest blue of the wild oceans. God's love has such texture and richness, and often I stand before it, with no feeling but wonder at all that God has done.

When I get the chance to dive into God's love, it is joy unbounded. I am overwhelmed, and it warms my soul, warmth that travels to the corners of my body and beyond, as I seek to share the love of God with everyone. God's love brings us together so that we might love one another, sharing in the gifts of God.

God's love can be too intense to understand, to comprehend, to draw near. I think of Moses, sheltered by God's hand, only allowed to see God's back. Surely God's love is too much for us to bear in its intensity. When God was revealed to us in Christ, we were so confused by how he chose to live that he ended up crucified on the cross, so different, so intense was the love of God. It has to cool in order for us to grasp and comprehend it.

And I am guilty of forgetting that, as well. I set it aside, leaving it for something shiny, something alluring, those distractions that flit across our minds, capturing our passions and leading us elsewhere. God's love cries out for our attention, but we wrap ourselves in our own delights.

Thanks be to God that, unlike tea, we never reach the bottom of the mug of God's love.

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