Love and the Loved

Sometimes I forget what God’s love really is. My perception of him and his love get tossed around with the clutter in my brain; the clutter of business and doubt, anxiety and fear; the clutter of the world and of my own flesh. It can become easy to lose sight of reality in moments like that; easy to lose sight of who God actually is and just how real his love for me is.

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But then there are cool, windy rooftop nights. The sky the deepest shade of midnight blue, the breeze blowing hair all across my face, and making goose bumps appear all over my bare arms. Breathing deeply in the fresh mountain air, overlooking the coastal city below, I know God is here. I feel him here. And it’s only now that I really recognize the clutter in my brain; the clutter that has been clouding my vision for what seems like weeks. I’m finally still, finally quiet. Quiet, except for Damien Rice’s voice softly singing, playing in the background of my moment with God. That is, until his voice, his words, become part of my moment with God.

“Wherever you are, know that I adore you.

No matter how far, well, I can go before you.”

His words echo in my ears. Wherever you are, I adore you. No longer are these simply words or song lyrics, they are becoming God’s serenade to me, if I listen closely. No matter how far, I can go before you, he says. My ears tune deeper and deeper into the music.

“And I don’t want to change you, I don’t want to change you.”

I feel my back stiffen. Chills.Wait, God, you don’t want to change me? I wasn’t expecting these words. And in that moment I feel the waters of his love racing, plunging over waterfalls. It all makes sense now. He loves me. The clouds begin to leave my mind, the clutter subsides. Love doesn’t desire the loved to change. Love is unconditional, it’s an all or nothing kind of thing. Love wants the best for the loved one, but love doesn’t want the loved one to become anything other than the very person she was created to be. I remember my mom’s words all throughout my childhood, “Never be with someone who you want to change.” Because love simply loves. Wherever you are, no matter how far.

“I’ve never been with anyone in the way I’ve been with you.”

He uniquely knows me, loves me, understands me. That’s love, and it is refreshing. A smile slowly appears on my moonlit face. Love. Why do we try to complicate it? Why do we doubt it? Sometimes moments like these cold, windy rooftop nights are just what I need to be reminded of reality. And my reality is that I am loved by a God who doesn’t want to change me. Those words feel good, escaping my lips, becoming tangible on the screen in front of me. Thank you for putting my head back in the clouds, Mr. Rice.

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