Sunday, October 30, 2011
I recently re-read "The Four Loves" by C.S. Lewis. Thought-provoking, to be sure, and for the most part I agree completely with his superb mind.
One place I always get a little lost with Lewis, though, is his characterization of God as a Stern Being who is easier known as the Ruler of the Universe than as a deeply personal Father.
The characterization doesn't mesh with my personal experience. While I agree with Lewis that God doesn't NEED our love and isn't necessarily any more grand or glorious because of it, instinct tells me that there is more to the story, and it DOES matter to God whether we love Him back.
Last night I read Gracie a book that I used to read to her when she was a baby. In the book Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare discuss how much they love each other. Little Nutbrown Hare loves Big Nutbrown Hare as wide as his arms, as high as he can jump, and as far as he can see. Yet regardless of what measure he uses, Big Nutbrown Hare can always reach wider, jump higher, and see farther.
As Big Nutbrown Hare tucks Little Nutbrown Hare into bed, the reader is reminded that parental love knows no bounds.
For some reason as I read it this time, I was thinking of Little Nutbrown Hare, and how his efforts to express love must have meant the world to Big Nutbrown Hare. Of course his efforts were smaller, less grandiose, more childlike. They were also the very best he had to offer. It was exactly what Big Nutbrown Hare wanted.
I loved the first smiles and giggles and reaching out to grab my finger with my babies. I loved hearing them say, "Mama," and chubby hands around my neck and "I wuf you." I loved the first sprawling scribbled love letters and the crayon drawings of mom & me. I love it now when they bring me breakfast in bed or "sneak" to surprise me with a clean kitchen or save their allowance to buy me presents.
It's the very best they have to offer, and it's exactly, perfectly what I want.
I think I love God all the more because, when I bring Him my immature, shabby, impatient, and totally messed-up heart, He lets me know that it's exactly, perfectly what He wants.