I have a friend from my school days who is an atheist. I watched him walk down the road of doubt until he finally arrived at his destination of unbelief in anything other than science and himself.
But we remained friends, respectful of each other’s views. He often questioned me about my faith. How can I be sure, out of all the religions in the world, that I am right?
Now as adults, we don’t hang out, but we are friends through social media and we have been able to keep in touch every now and again. And he is still questioning me about my faith.
As an adult, it is not always as easy as it was when we were just kids. The issues are bigger, more controversial, and more emotional. But we still talk.
One day, as I was answering one of his questions, I replied, “God loves us like a Father, not like a dictator.”
That comment, from the Holy Spirit no doubt, has stuck with me and God began to teach me more about Himself, from that one concept.
Ten years ago I would’ve told you I had an accurate understanding of God. I might have said that I did not understand Him to be an authoritarian figure, but rather as a loving figure. But that is false. I did understand Him in an authoritarian way.
But over the last few months, my understanding of Him has changed and grown into an image of a loving Father, who is not wagging His finger in my face forcing me to do what is right. Rather He is a loving Father who is cautioning me, loving me, and pleading with me to choose righteousness over evil. My Father has not condemned me, but continually calls me to Himself, calling me back from the edge, to rest in His loving arms.
His vessels for my lessons have come in the form of these tiny little human beings that make my heart beat faster, and take my breath away. I call them my children and every day God shows me more and more, through them, how much He truly loves me.
The other day my sweet 9 year old asked, “Mom, if God knew that we were going to sin and do bad things, (because God knows everything) why did He create us in the first place?”
I had to pause. It’s a hard question to answer, and I’m not sure I really know the answer. So said a quick prayer and asked for wisdom and then God said, “Look at your kids. You knew they have potential to, and inevitably will, disobey you, hurt you, and possibly turn their back on you. Why did you choose to have them with that knowledge?”
That is an even more difficult question to put into words. How can I describe the color yellow? How can I describe my love and my desire for my children, TO my children?
My answer was simply nothing more than, I was compelled to bring these little human beings into my family. I was compelled by love for someone I did not even know. And now I know why this innate force to procreate is so powerful.
Having them has enriched my life, and my human experience would be incomplete without them. Even if they ultimately reject me, breaking my heart beyond repair, the pain is worth the amount of love I have been given the privilege to experience and call my own. They are worth taking the chance. My children, and the moments I have spent with them, have been among the best in my human experience. I want to give them the chance to be part of my life, and to choose me, rather than save myself the hurt and pain and live my life without loving another human being in such a way. Because that sacred love that I have for them, has blessed me. And if they choose to love me back, then my life is that much more enriched! If they reject me, at least I loved.
God said, “Me too.”