Your kids are great and all, but my kid is awesome… and for no better reason than she is my kid. I love my kid and nothing can change or take this love away. Every now and then I will ask her if she knows that I love her while I am tickling her. The other day I decided to ask her if she knew “how” I loved her. She answered, “you love Mommy!” I said, “yes I do and that is one way that I love you, but there are other ways too.”
I went on to tell her that I love her by playing with her, and taking care of her, and buying her toys. She perked up at that one. I told her that I loved her by feeding her, putting her to bed, changing her diaper, and reading her stories. I explained that there are many ways that I love her. I then asked her if she knew how she loved me.
What does a child of this age do to show a parent they love them? She can’t take care of me. She can’t protect me. She can’t buy me toys or feed me. I sat there for a second after asking the question and then told her how she loves me. I told her that she loves me by trusting me to take care of her and provide for her. She loves me by the excitement she shows when I come home, by inviting me to play with her and her toys. She loves me by depending upon me and desiring my attention. She loves me by responding to my love.
There is nothing we can give God to earn his freely given love. There is nothing we can give him that he needs. But he delights in the fellowship of our play, our laughter. He delights in the invitation to our mundane and sacred living. He delights in our trust and reception of his guidance and love. In this kind of love there is nothing on our part to “prove”. It is an action that requires no scheming. It is a love that requires us to be still and know that he is God.
With no anxiety to prove that God loves me and that I love him, it certainly opens up room for me to love others. Sydney was right; I do love her by loving her mommy. That’s also how I love God.