- Leah Van Someren
Born to Be Loved
Why do you exist? Life is an intricate dance of thoughts, decisions and actions but why does the dance itself exist? What is its purpose? What is it created to do?
Jesus is unmistakably clear, we as humans have two calls to action upon which all others build: love God and love people (Mark 12:30-31). The greatest commandment is not complicated but it is difficult. You can only give what you have received. If you’ve received rejection, you will give rejection. If you’ve received hate, you will give hate. If you’ve received condition, you will give condition.
If you are a human, particularly of the Christian variety, this one is for you because growing up anywhere near a church, you were bound to get some religious backwash in the things you ‘ought’ to do.
Do this. Don’t do this. Do that but don’t you dare do that. Good girl, good boy.
Now, please hear me: we must follow Jesus’ commandments but could it be that we’re carrying them out on faulty foundation? God promised that “knowledge of His glory would fill the earth as waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14 ESV But it seems to me, when I peer out on the world’s horizons, the land is so dry not even an optimist would call it half-full. It’s as if we’re pouring out love onto that which has a bottomless hole, still expecting it to overflow.
I can hear the well-programed response now: “But we are supposed to be loving everyone! Jesus even says to love your enemies.” Indeed, you are correct. However, many - dare I say the startling majority - of people (including Christians) are sprouted from and now live in deprivation of the very thing the greatest commandment tells us to extravagantly give away without limit.
I come to you, not as one lifted high, but as a friend in the trenches - a Christ follower and lover of Jesus once ensnared by a life-sized Chinese finger trap. Propped up by doing ‘loving’ things - I hobbled and wobbled around the gaping hole in my own heart. I heard my King’s command but each time I moved to execute, my heart’s deprivation would constrict, clutching to what little resource I stored up.
Like a builder nailing pretty framed paintings on ungrounded walls, my love embellishments forever crashed to the ground, shattering at my feet, demanding that I - fingers bleeding, wounds gaping - collect the shards of disappointment one by one. All the while, through the red hot sting of threatening tears, I perpetually questioned, “why in the world does my love not construct the connections I so fiercely long for?”
As an unfounded do-er, I toiled to impress, woo and flatter both God and people because I thought if I just kept doing things to love, eventually I’d get back love I craved. News flash: Love with expectation of return isn’t love, it’s a contract. It’s not that I didn’t love and people did love me but my heart hadn’t yet received God’s love and without His extravagant foundation, all other attempts to give and receive merely dissipate into the abyss. Flash in the pan feel goods, always leaving the need for another hit.
But God’s been breaking ground on my heart, my soul, my strength and my mind. He’s tilled me up and leveled me out to lay His foundation: YOU WERE BORN TO BE LOVED.
“What does that even mean?”
I’m so glad you asked.
Your reason for being, living, breathing and existing is so that God can love you and He does! It’s the Tree of Life - unearned, irrevocable, immeasurable and unfathomable. It’s knowing God and knowing He knows you. It’s Jesus choosing to hang on the cross even with our hearts smeared with sin. It’s sacrifice without hesitation. It’s fullness of love freely given without limit or conditions, unaffected by what you do and don’t do. It’s undeserved yet never withheld. It’s fullness of God indwelling in you by Holy Spirit. It’s the basis of relationship and the beginning of eternal life. It’s more than everything we’d dare hope for poured out unceasingly. It’s your life source: the one thing you never have to question but always MUST go back to.
Our hearts ought to beat, pulse and throb with the gravity of being fully immersed, held, known, actualized and cradled by the sweet simple reality of God’s inconceivable yet fully knowable, untamable, immaculate, always coming after you, indeed I boldly say reckless (because it is Biblical) love.
We must unashamedly actualize this foundation each and every day for what’s hardest to receive is what’s least complicated: He created you to love you. We only love (aka fulfill the greatest commandment) because He loved us first. 1 John 4:19 MSG
Which leads me to ask, what is the foundation of your heart?
That is a crazy big question. The crazier part: it unavoidably, without a shadow of a doubt has an answer. And because I’ve asked, you my friend, have two options: 1. pretend I never did and go about your merry way or 2. gather your pickax, your headlamp, your harness and drill, bring your chisel, shovel and maybe a stick of dynamite or two. And come, join God in the excavation and together we’ll reestablish our hearts’ foundation.
Will it be hard? Yes. It will require tangible time, healing and mental, emotional and spiritual choleric investment. But may I, for a moment, be direct? Unless you know the answer - the Truth - you’ll never know the fullness of life that is offered. That is, you’ll never know Love…you’ll never know God and therefore, you’ll never know eternal life (John 17:3). You can only give what you have received and you’re created to give love so now it’s time to just receive. Receive the love God created you for.
You were born to be loved.