I’ve become convinced that our interactions with God are best pictured in romance. While no analogy captures every aspect of our relationship with God (think parent-child picture), I can’t help but notice the romance in God’s attempt to reach us.
Let me tell you a story. Like many stories, this one has a beginning. It began with a man whose love betrayed him. She turned her back on him and decided to prostitute herself. She settled for a broken, disgusting substitute for love instead of the true love of her lover.
The man couldn’t bear the thought of his love selling herself, so he devised a plan to win her back. He disguised himself and entered the brothel.
While disguised he began trying to win his love’s affection again. But she didn’t recognize him. She mistook him for someone crazy, and in a terrible turn of events, she murdered him.
Her own lover. Murdered.
And I can’t help but wonder if that’s what we do time and time again. Yet he still calls out to us.
“Do you remember me? I love you. Come back to me.”
And everyday we make choices that nail him to the cross again. We can’t recognize our Lover.
But every so often someone notices. Someone looks at this life and says, “This is not right.” He looks around himself and begins to notice a shadow forming. He looks up and sees a cross.
Dark. Cruel. Menacing.
And through the darkness he hears a voice whispering to him. You were supposed to die there. You were sentenced to that death. But someone decided to rescue you. Someone decided you were worth it. And he went there instead.
He went there instead.
What kind of love is this? A love that would make that kind of trade?
If my love spurned me, betrayed me, and walked away from me, selling herself to a disgusting imitation of love. . . could I take her place in the face of her execution?
Of my own accord, no. But because I know I’ve received that kind of love, I would be unable to do otherwise. I’d be compelled to love like my Lover has loved me.
But it’s only because of that love.