Sunday, April 24, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
I don't know about you, but I am going to be honest, my affection is not unconditional. One of my favorite quotes is, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, no deal." I can love someone with the love of the Lord, from a distance once they've hurt me, but they will no longer be to me what they once were. It's just how it works. I refuse to be the fool if I know that you're trying to play me for one.Last Tuesday I was going through the usual potty training routine with Elijah and during the last cycle he said to me four times, "Auntie, I love you." The last time he holds on to my arm and lays his head against it and says, "I love you". We can overlook the fact that during this time I was pulling up his pull-up. I will take the love whenever I can get it, no matter the circumstances nowadays. When I look at myself, I do not see one worthy of the kind of love this little person gives to me. As soon as he gets home from preschool he kicks off his Woody Round-Up boots and yells, "Auntie!! Auntie!!" looking for me. Why? I'm not cool? Sometimes I am moody from PMS or just having a melancholy day. The day he said, "I love you" to me four times I had not been as fun as usual. The dot and PMS had the better of me.
If you've been reading my blog, you know about my cat issues. Well, Elijah adores Zoe. When she was at the vet to be fixed and de-clawed he asked for her everyday and said, "I miss my kitty." Meanwhile her absence those four days were the best days of my life!
Elijah has battle wounds that would have turned off my affections from Zoe in a heartbeat. That cat has drawn blood from him and when she bites or scratches him the blood curdling screams that come from this little person are enough to make you want to throw Zoe out of the window. The bowling ball sized tears that run down Elijah's rosy cheeks are just heartbreaking and you're sure that this will be the last straw and he will stay away from the cat. But two minutes later, with a Toy Story bandaid prominently displayed on the new wound, he goes to Zoe and with one lonely tear left on his eyelashes lays his face on her soft fur and says, "I love my kitty."
As adults with all the wounds life has given us our cynical first reactions might be, "That little boy is a glutton for punishment." Or, "That kid is not the sharpest tool in the shed if he keeps going near that cat." But here is what I have learned. Elijah has unconditional love and affection for everyone just the way Jesus has asked us to and I stand in shame when I watch him. That little boy has taught me a lot about how God loves me. This is not to say that Elijah is perfect, he is a three-year old. He has just really shown how God loves and how quickly I put walls up.
I have a wicked fast internal construction company that begins putting up walls as soon as I meet you. My internal architect has a plan ready for each scenario. So, we are ready for you to cross me because you are human and it is inevitable that you will deeply hurt me and then it's going to take forever to repair the wound. So, if I start now, hopefully the repairs will not take as long and even then it is only a crack in the wall.
I'm not saying that we should walk around being an open-book to whomever we meet. That is not smart either, but I know that I need to find a better balance than the one I currently have. As I continue to work on the wounds I have, I pray that the Lord will show me how to give and receive love better than I do now.
I'm so glad that His love is fully unconditional. Just think about the wounds that our Lord has? As loathsome and horrible a people we are he loves us wholeheartedly and unchangingly. I in my wicked nature can't even seem to muster up that kind of love for my Lord. He is just so loving and too good to us. We truly do not deserve it.
Psalm 100:5 - The Lord is good. His faithful love continues forever. It will last for all time to come. (NIR)