Even If

There’s that place that I think we all show up at least once in our lives, and we feel the way a creature hunted finds itself at the edge of a cliff, and the pursuer isn’t far behind. That place where there’s an ugly choice that we have to make- ugly because we never thought it would be like this, but it is and this is our life and there’s no one to take it on for us, no place to escape to anymore.

I remember sitting in my bed upstairs, throat swollen and raw from a tonsillectomy when the thought stabbed me like a sword:

That maybe all my tissue-thin faith and those prayers of frail expectation, would not make happen what I hoped would happen.

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What if I had told God of how I believe Him now, how I want to love Him, and what if it was all laced with the expectation that He would behave reciprocally and heal my mind – and He didn’t?

He had prodded my spirit with the question and my life hung on the answer, a choice that was mine to make.

Will I love you, God, even if the bad thing happens?

Will I love you, God, even if you never bring again to my mind that steady simplicity of never having fear wash through it like a flash flood blasts through a forest canyon?

Will I love you, knowing that you can take it away, but you don’t?

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You know, the very moment we decide that even though it might cost us everything, we will choose to love Him,

even if,

I believe He plants that seed of love right then and there to get watered by soul-tears for a little while.

The soul-tears cause love to grow best sometimes.

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And that seed, put in the place that we used to keep our precious expectations for how things ought to go, becomes the smell of life to us as it germinates there.

To be able to say even if, I will love you, is that love bursting through the sticky film of expectation and into the sunshine of true hope.

To be able to say even if, I will love you, is a tunnel dynamited under that scraggly mountain of entitlement and clears the way to love other people because they don’t have to measure up either in order to get it too.

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Even if, I will love you, is the very prayer of the terror

and ecstasy

of obedience.

 

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