Phoebe and I sometimes play “tackle hug” – – it’s Cato-vs.-Inspector-Clouseau married with full contact football. The point is to surprise attack, not with a weapon or lethal black belt precision, but with a hug. The game was easier when I was a little younger, and Phoebe wasn’t fast approaching six feet tall, but the essential components have not changed: lots of laughter, the element of surprise and proximity to a forgiving landing zone. The stronger Phoebe has grown, the harder the take-down becomes and these days I often find myself the recipient of the hug instead of the other way around. I am not complaining. I love the game and so does she.
That’s the kind of love God has for me- – it’s a reckless, unbounded love that needs to express itself to me, crashing through all my doubt and taking me to the mat with the undeniable reality of just how much I am loved. God doesn’t just rap lightly on my door, he is waiting like Cato to love me in a way impossible to deny. He calls me “His Beloved” and isn’t shy to show me.
God really, REALLY wants my heart. He really, REALLY wants me to turn to Him, follow Him, allow myself to be loved by Him. He is asking me to receive. There is nothing even a little bit passive about the way God loves me, and somehow I have it all turned around like I need to do something to earn His love. Not only is that not possible, that’s just not the way the dance works.
And God doesn’t wait for me; He chases me. Think Cheetah, vs. Antelope; Elliot Ness vs. Capone; or the Giant after Jack, on-the-way-down. God means business. And He wants me. And this is the part I love the most…. If I invite Him in, I will have absolutely no defense against His love.
God plays all the hard parts. I just need to show up. I just need to spend time with Him. That’s all He is asking. I keep thinking my part of the job is the heavy lifting, or the planning, or the making-it-happen…or the learning-enough-to-be-good-enough…. and it’s simply not. That feeling like I need to “get it right” to be loved by God is just a feeling and it has absolutely no basis in any truth.
By drawing close to God, I am transformed by His Holy Spirit into a new creation. By just sidling up next to Him, and truly abiding in Him, my new life has already begun – – recognizable or not. So if God is Cato (sorry God) and I am Inspector Clouseau… let the games begin.
And Phoebe…I will be waiting for you!