how he loves

Tonight I was putting Elias to bed and had a little moment.

We had just been through a rough dinner which ended in him only getting a banana and two spankings. I still had missed so many nights of reading the Word with him, and too many nights of rocking and singing before bed - so I let Nick hold Glor while I put my little man down.

We read about Jesus casting the legions of demons into the pigs - which seemed appropriate - did a little praying, and then just had a cuddle. When he seemed ready to say his cute little "nigh nigh", I pulled his passy out of his mouth and looked at him head on - which is our prompt for him to give me a hug & a kiss. I got my light squeeze and had my already chapped lips covered with his drool, and he was back to looking at me sort of blankly. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, he very intentionally kissed me square on the lips once more and then flung himself onto my chest in a exaggerated hug.

I was struck all at once with the realization that this very occurrence is so rare and probably will continue to be for his whole life. For no reason other than his love for me, he had chosen to give me affection. I didn't ask for it, prompt him to do it, remind him of it, or even motion toward needing a kiss. The reason I believe this is so rare is because there is actually no way Elias could ever love me as much as I love him. Try as he might - my love for him is too much, too big, too out of my control to stop or to compete with.

Once I put him in the crib, I could hear Jesus' heart all up in my ears. When was the last time I showed Him abandoned, unrestrained love just because I needed to express it? When was the last time I wasn't prompted by a song, or a problem, or a friend, or a praise, or a need? Just love Him. How would it change my whole life if I resigned myself to the fact that I cannot love Him in any way near to the amount that He loves me - ever. Not with my actions, not with my obedience, not with the way I talk about Him, or the things I do. My only goal is glorify Him and at my very best human capability - I fail at that. And yet He still loves me.

I had a great professor in college who opened my eyes to a lot of truth about the nature of God - He taught me mind bendingly simple truths like "God cannot not love you. It is not in His nature to not love you and He cannot not be true to His nature." Nick and I's love for Elias is so much like that. We didn't choose to love Him, it's just this snowball that started that is so out of control. Tomorrow, if he refuses to eat all day and gets 32 spankings then two things will still be true: 1) his butt will be raw and 2) I will love him more than I did today.

This obviously makes me crazy appreciative for my own parents, but it makes me overwhelmed with the goodness of God. He loves me out of His own fruition and is even the one who reveals these truths to me to help me slightly understand His love for me just a millimeter more.