Look at these treasures! I love them!

My son lost himself in the quest, not noticing how much time was slipping away as the sun lowered on the horizon. 

While others were busy swimming or laying on the dock, enjoying the goodness of July temperatures in the north, he was looking down. My son's eyes were scanning the bottom of the lake, searching for the perfect rocks to add to his collection. 

When he asked me to help, I instictively asked why he wasn't collecting shells instead. "Look at this one," I observed, "It has such a lovely swirl and beautiful coloring." He looked up for a moment, uninterested but respectful, and told me we were looking for rocks. 

"Look at this one!" He yelled, as he lifted a stone the size of his fist from the bottom. It was gray, and rough, nothing spectacular in my opinion.  

"Wow," I responded, only half-looking at the ordinary piece of rubble he was turning over in his fingers. 

"Isn't it great!" He exclaimed, with his typical enthusiasm, "It's perfect for my collection!" 

As I kept scouring the bottom for one rock I deemed worthy of the word, "beautiful," he continued to pick up stone after stone, declaring them perfect. 

I stuck with him for a few more minutes of searching, finding two rocks I thought were good enough to collect. He kept at it much longer, delighting in the process as much as the outcome. 

At the end of the day, my son marched his bag of run-of-the-mill stones through the house and declared them to be a treasure he loved as much as Cam Bear, his most beloved stuffed animal.

These rocks were valuable to him because he declared them to be so. He loved them becasue he delighted in his search for them. He loved them because he found joy in their very existence. He loved them because of their similarities and distinctions, their smooth spots and sharp edges, their lightness and their weight. 

In his innocence, he adored them for being exactly the way they were, and he declared them to be his treasures.

Oh, how much children have to teach us.

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"He set me down in a safe place; He saved me to His delight; He took joy in me." - Psalm 18:19 (The Voice)

God delights in you. God delights in me. God delights in us.

God does not love us with an obligatory and dry, "I guess I should love them because they are my family" kind of love. God does not love us with a conditional, "I guess I should love them because they are beautiful and special and hardworking" kind of love.

No. 

God loves us with delight. He takes joy in our very existence.  

He shouts about us to the cosmos with the innocent glee of a small child, "Look at these treasures! I love them!" 

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Could it be?

could it be?

Could it be that God still speaks from time to time?

Could it be that though the Divine can seem silent when the world screams with pain, perhaps there is more going on than we can hear?

Could it be that an infinite God, a fractured world, and a breathtaking people blend into confusing patterns of Presence and Absence? Could it be that this is part of the wonder of living as a human being?

Could it be that it wasn't just my voice I heard in my head as I walked along in prayer? Could it have been the actual voice of an actual God, telling me I was not alone? Could it be that if I suspend my disbelief for just a little while, I might laugh with the joy of delight?

Could it be that I do not have to understand God's engagement with the world in order to experience God's care for me? Could it be that God's presence can be ridiculously obvious when I am aware enough to notice?

Could it be that Jesus is asking me, "What do you want me to do for you?" just as He asked blind Bartimaeus? Could it be that God wants me to know the answer to that question so I can hear the invitation in it to live more fully? Could it be that this is what God's calling on our lives is really all about?

Could it be that God still speaks from time to time?

Could it be that the answer is yes for me?

Could it be that the answer is yes for you?

 

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Opening my heart to hear what I know

you are loved
you are loved

Stop fighting with yourself, child.

There is grace for you when your head knows what your heart does not.

You are loved.

I know that you know that. But I also know you need to hear it.

You are loved.

Let me repeat it to you as often as I chose. It sometimes can take a few slices of those words to get through the thick skin of your heart.

You are loved. You are loved. You are loved.

Not only that, you are enough.

Right now, in your struggles, you are enough.

You are loved. You are enough.

Is there anything else your heart needs to hear today?

Instead of using your strength to beat it up with attacks about how you should know better, how about simply opening it up to Me?

Receive My grace for you in this moment. I AM here. Holding your hand.

Can you feel it?

Let go of your desire to solve and fix and do something to change. Sometimes you need to simply be. And receive.

Receive My love.

It is unconditional. And it is yours for the taking.

This is not a lesson you have to be done learning. I don't mind repeating Myself. I will tell you as many times as you need it.

You are loved.

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