About a month ago I wrote about the words Jesus Loves You. I shared how my boss spoke these three healing words to my soul, and for the first time in a long time it didn’t feel cliche or kitschy. It felt TRUE! Yet with this truth I also started to wonder what Jesus loving me actually looked like. What did it mean for me to be loved by Jesus.
Reflecting on this lead me to go on a spiritual “walkabout” so to speak, what I call my “barefooted stroll”. I found myself examining my life, past and present, to see if I could tangibly believe in this love. I journeyed as far back as I could remember, and what I found was not what I was looking for. And yet in its surprise, I found it even better than I could have imagined.
(Jesus’ Love is Battle-Tested)
While I was looking for things like neon signs and conclusive data that would prove God’s love clearly and definitively, I instead found gentle whispers and illustrative stories. I stumbled upon a myriad of adjectives and adverbs dancing together describing how God has loved me in many different moments, days, and years throughout my life.
Where I wanted quantifiable data of God’s love, God gave me qualitative data instead. Where I wanted a scientific formula, he painted me a picture. Where I wanted my head to be convinced, he started by convincing my heart. What he showed me was not measurable, but it was still tangible.
(God Loves Completely)
My barefooted stroll lead me to see how the qualities of God’s love were colored all over different situations and seasons in my life. God was leading me to a place where, like a great novelist describing their characters, I was getting to know him in detailed, personal ways. The journey has been hard and beautiful, refreshing and scary.
I have had to wrestle with and rest in what I have discovered: that I am loved in a thousand different ways by the Lord.
(God’s Love Cradles)
Sometimes the words surrounding God’s love seem to compliment each other while others seem to downright conflict. Yet as I try to grasp them, I have found myself starting to live loved in abounding ways.
This led me to ask some dear friends to do their own “barefooted stroll” even for just a moment or two. I asked them to reflect on God’s love for them and then create a few 4×6 postcards describing how God has shown his love for them. Truthfully, I wanted to learn from their journey, not just my own. I wanted my understanding of God’s love to be beyond just my own perspective. Out of this the idea of Living Loved Collective was born.
(God’s Love is Radiant)
The 4×6 heart expressions have been overwhelmingly powerful. We are all learning from each other, gaining a bigger perspective of God, and living in it a little more with each new illustration. I personally find myself daydreaming about how beautiful it would be for entire generations to truly live in the soul-knowledge that they are loved by the Lord.
So here’s my prayer: may we all continue to take moments for a barefooted stroll and live loved by the Lord, in a thousand different ways, even if it’s only one 4×6 postcard depiction at a time.
(God’s Love is Strong)