Saturday, August 04, 2012

One Safe Place

Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find? -Proverbs 20:6

On the back of our bulletins every Sunday is a little blurb - a testimony - usually about the Bible verse we're reading in church that week.  A couple of weeks ago, it was about this idea of steadfast love.  The writer described his grandmother's love as "persistent and no-nonsense love," stating that she wasn't sentimental or sweet or over-the-top; instead, the love she gave was, simply, present.  Constant.  Unfailing.

That's how God loves us.  His love for us is persistent and no-nonsense.  It doesn't matter what we do.  We can push Him away, hate Him, curse Him, deny Him, loathe Him.  We can forget about Him for months on end.  We can exclude Him from our lives.  We can not answer Him and not seek Him and not care about Him at all.

But He will never stop loving us, never stop pursuing us, never stop patiently waiting for us to turn around and realize He's been right there with us all along.

As I read that testimony in church, I thought, I want to be like that.

I want to love people the way God loves me.  Isn't that the point?  Love people with a no-nonsense, persistent, unfailing love.  A love that is secure and in which they can be confident.  In which they can rest.  I want the people I love to know that I am there.  I love them, I always will, and that's it.  End of discussion.

It doesn't matter what they do.  They can push me away, ignore me, forget about me, exclude me.  I don't care.  Once I'm in your life, I'm in it, you're stuck with me, and there ain't nothin' you can do about it.  Sorry 'bout your luck.

I want to be that soft place to fall for the people I love.  I want them to know that no matter what they do, they can always come back and receive grace from me.  I want to be their resting place in their time of need, their encourager in their sorrows, their strength in their struggles, their lifeline in the darkest night.  When I go to be with the Lord, I want the people I leave behind to say "She was the most gracious and giving person I knew.  She was where I would turn for love and to feel close to God.  The light of the Holy Spirit just shone out through her."

Marc Cohn sings a song called "One Safe Place" which I think describes perfectly the kind of love I'm talking about.  Here are the lyrics:

How many roads you’ve travelled
How many dreams you’ve chased
Across sand and sky and gravel
Looking for one safe place?

Will you make a smoother landing
When you break your fall from grace?
Into the arms of understanding
Looking for one safe place.

Oh, life is trial by fire
And love’s the sweetest taste
And I pray it lifts us higher
To one safe place.

I get my love from my Lord.  His love is unfailing, so mine can be, too.  That is going to be my starting place from now on.

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you. -Isaiah 54:10


rose said...

Oh this post was so convicting! I have a friend I want to just give up on. I miss her so much that when I see her having fun with other friends, I get teary-eyed and wonder "what happened to us?" I miss her daughter. I wanted to be a big part of Maggie's life, like an aunty or something, and I had all these plans to be the best because my own aunt has so failed me by never being available. But my friend never makes time for us, and always has excuses. I need to remember to love her even though it feels like she doesn't love me anymore. I can be a "soft place to land," no matter what; even though my heart wants to be hardened against her.

Elisse said...

Rose, I am so glad this spoke to you! I am struggling with this myself - the hardest is when you feel like you are not wanted and wonder what happened to cause that. Right there with you. But I believe God planted this idea in me a few weeks ago knowing this is how I would feel, and He is calling me to just keep right on loving. I will be praying for you and your friend as well - He can and WILL make all things new!