When the divine creator intentionally knit you together in your mother’s womb to be a one of a kind, unrepeatable, unique masterpiece designed to do his specific work (Psalms 139:15; Ephesians 2:10) there isn’t a human being alive who formed a better mold than you. Your family of origin, your tones and talents, your experiences and expressions, your bents and brokenness – it all helped frame you into what you needed to be for now. Hey, I know you’re not done yet, but you are a child of God and you’re designed right for where you are.
Before you took your first breath, your Maker already had a place for your eternal celebration. The One who exists outside of time, yet subjected himself to the ravages and sufferings of human limitations, already knew your place around the throne of grace with members from every tribe and tongue and nation. Not a breath, a tear or a heartbeat has been wasted in shaping you for the next expression of love and grace. No one else can do you like you.
And you are loved – now – as you are. Breathe it in. You are loved with a love that is patient without limits, kind without borders, never envious, never boastful, never proud – just satisfied at something good, something beautiful. The One who loves you never desires to dishonour or shame you; never dreams of crushing you under guilt or fear; never for a moment thinks of abandoning you or stepping even a nanometer away from you. In fact, he sings over you (Zephaniah 3:17) and his thoughts toward you outnumber all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the world (Psalm 139:17-18).
What kind of a love is this? A love that isn’t easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs. A love that never treats me as my sins deserve. A love that forgives and forgives and forgives under an ocean of grace and mercy and compassion I can’t even fathom. Oh, I know it’s a love that rejoices with the truth and never gives a nod toward evil. It’s a love that always, every second of every day, always, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Oh, that I had a love to love back that way.
And yet, here in my family, in my neighbourhood, in my church, on the streets of my city are other image bearers with their own unique, never to be duplicated selves, living, breathing, being, waiting for that love to come their way. Who am I to withhold it or distort it or to claim it only for myself?
When the limitless life of the Spirit courses through my veins with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, who am I to withhold it from my broken brothers and sisters – weighed down by the crushing pressures and pains of a world gone wrong? When do my limitations set up the boundaries like dikes on the edge of an ocean? Especially when I too am a broken, wounded, imperfect, grace-sucking child desperate for such sweet fruit.
We are a body. A grace-filled body set free to drink up a mighty river of peace, hope, faith and truth. One by one the beacons of light who have walked before us are taken to their eternal home and generation after generation is left to pass on the torch and to live out what they know before those who don’t yet know. You, my precious family, never walk alone and you never walk unloved.
Author, Pete Scazzero says it well. “That is why I do not believe we can grow into spiritually and emotionally mature disciples if we do not address the effects of racism and prejudice in and around us. In fact, a core characteristic of an emotionally healthy church is that the culture we build is safe for people of every race and culture, where we look at people different than us and say, without words, You’re beautiful. You’re valuable. You’re unrepeatable.”
Remember, you are loved more than you could ask or imagine … and so is your brother, your sister… every person you see.