Greetings in the Lord,
I’ve thought a great deal about what my blog might say right before I head into surgery again….(It’s a hip replacement surgery, the 2nd in four months)….and this is what I’d want our church and the Church at large to consider every single time we make vital decisions…..
“GOD LOVES LOST PEOPLE THEREFORE, WE SHOULD LOVE THEM AS WELL” when I came across this story in a book called, Alternative Spirituality For The Third Millennium, written by Mike Riddell. He tells this story…
“Vincent has met and fallen in love with a young girl named Marilyn. Neither one of them was seeking a relationship, but the relationship is seeking them. Swept up by their emotions, the two become deeply involved. Marilyn, a prostitute, is not prepared to fall in love and is certainly not prepared for the honesty love requires. She must tell Vincent who she is, knowing full well it will probably mean the end to their relationship.
There’s ah….there’s something we need to talk about.” Vincent replys, “Only if you want to, I’m perfectly happy just to sit here and look at you.” “Sorry this seems like something serious, like the beginning of a Dear John speech, truth be told.”
Marilyn says, “It’s about me and what I do.” Vincent responds, “Yeah, I was wondering when you were going to pluck up the courage and tell me. Are you an agent for the CIA? Sorry, I’ll shut up.”
She is totally absorbed in the remains of her salad, anything to avoid his eyes. “There is no easy way to say this…I’m a prostitute. I sleep with men for a living. It’s a business. I’m very professional.” Time and silence have this thing they do together. They make a chasm that has no bottom to it. And there you are, standing right on the edge of it. Aware that at any moment you may be falling and falling and falling, with no hope of recovery. At the moment they are at either side of it, each consumed by their private terror. She looks up at last from her salad. Vincent is crying. The tears streaming down his cheeks, and he is biting his lip to keep himself from sobbing. He wants to speak but he can’t, all he can do is look at her beautiful face. She reaches a hand across to hold his. She is beyond tears, empty and bleak and barren. Vincent is mumbling something, but it’s incoherent through the pain. And then he begins to repeat it over and over again. “I love you, I love you, I love you.” It is the most painful thing he could have said. Her tears are flowing. They grip each others hands, and lean their foreheads together.”
Marilyn expected Vincent to reject her, to pull away from her, to have nothing to do with her. I believe in a strange and touching way Vincent did what Jesus does with us. He looks beneath the behavior, sees our longing, and loves us despite our past. Maybe we expect rejection and condemnation. Maybe we even deserve it! But when we come to Jesus we receive grace and forgiveness and hear over and over again, “I love you, I love you, I love you!”
Living in His grace,
God’s Never Ending Love