Promiscuous Love

This time of year when the acorns and pecans cover sidewalks liberally here in North Texas, I start thinking about how nature, with its powerful urge to reproduce itself, shows us much about the nature of God’s love. There is so much of it that we can trample on it and still have plenty left over to feed wildlife abundantly and see many new trees sprout in the spring.  The nuts fall apparently without discernment–they are not parceled out or rationed, but are available to all comers. Promiscuous, actually.

And, quite a picture of God’s love. The Bible simply abounds with stories about people who really seem unlovable that God just decides to love anyway. Really, it is God’s promiscuous love, a love that seems to show no discernment and gets scattered anywhere, to such a point that it almost seems immoral. I mean, some of those people really, really don’t deserve to be loved.

Well, at least I don’t think they deserve to be loved. Here are a few I can think of quickly off the top of my head.

I’ll start with Cain—he killed his brother and then lied about it. But God just spares him and makes sure that no one else can take retribution on him and sends him on his way. Now, how about Abraham? Twice, this fellow, traveling with the beautiful wife, arrives in a foreign country and is afraid that someone is going to kill him because his wife is so beautiful and the inhabitants will want her for themselves. What does he do? He tells people that she’s his sister, lets her be taken into a different household and be subject to the whims of other men, and is left sitting pretty and safe. What a jerk.

Lot is another great one. This guy is Abe’s nephew, and ends up living in a place that is pretty degraded morally. He has a couple of visitors one night, and the people in the town want to hurt his guests and violate them sexually. Lot offers his unmarried daughters instead to the townsmen so they can violate his daughters instead. He may win the prize for jerkdom.  But he is spared and rescued from the tragedy to come. Really? This guy?

Now, to be fair, there are also some women who really have no business receiving God’s love either. There’s this story about a woman who is considered ritually impure and anything she touches is also considered dirty and impure. She rashly pushes her way through a crowd to touch Jesus’ clothes. Stupid woman—who is she to be so selfish as to want to make Jesus dirty? Why didn’t she just fade into the background like she should have? But Jesus insisted on healing her. Made no sense to anyone around him then.

All this makes me wonder what Jesus would do today with people who have made a total mess of their lives by stupid decisions and immoral behavior and lack of proper respect for the right way to do things. I have this strange sense that God loves them, too. Promiscuous love—that’s what God is about.

And that, in my opinion, is what Christmas is all about. God is so very, very much in love with us that no barriers will get in the way of showing such love. It’s there for all takers. Come and find it. Come and adore him. Come. God’s love: there for the taking.

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  • Sheila Redmond

    This is absolutely beautiful. It made me cry!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtfulpastor Christy Thomas

      Thank you for reading–and for telling me how it affected you. I live in deep gratefulness for that unending love.

  • Sheila Redmond

    This is absolutely beautiful. It made me cry!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtfulpastor Christy Thomas

      Thank you for reading–and for telling me how it affected you. I live in deep gratefulness for that unending love.

  • http://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com roweeee

    Reblogged this on The Blogging Pot.

  • http://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com roweeee

    Reblogged this on The Blogging Pot.

  • https://www.facebook.com/peggy.w.stahl Peggy Ware Stahl

    This is the essence of the gospel. Those who have never experienced this kind of love simply cannot believe in a God of love. It’s the job of every Christian to love this way. Our one job is to respond to that Love in worshipful awe and act in that Love toward anyone we meet in our daily paths. We fail at almost every turn and that is our great sin. We need to grieve our failings and then begin again–every day, in the experience of how He loves me, a sinner so far from Christ’s example.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtfulpastor Christy Thomas

      How eloquently you have put this, Peggy!

      • https://www.facebook.com/peggy.w.stahl Peggy Ware Stahl

        Thank you Christy. I’m inspired by your example of the acorns. I love the picture of how the world might be if we as Christians scattered love indiscriminately as the oaks scatter the acorns. Several of our houses have been blessed with many oaks and seemingly tons of acorns, but our last house had just one tree–a live oak suffering because it was too close to the foundation and driveway. But some years that live oak dropped so many acorns we literally couldn’t walk on the sidewalk, even though we’d use a blower to try to blow them off daily. Also, if damp, the acorns would leave stains on the concrete that took a long time to wear off. I’m going to aim to be like that!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtfulpastor Christy Thomas

          Am so glad this touched you! Thanks for writing–and I wish we’d all be more like the oaks and acorns.

  • https://www.facebook.com/peggy.w.stahl Peggy Ware Stahl

    This is the essence of the gospel. Those who have never experienced this kind of love simply cannot believe in a God of love. It’s the job of every Christian to love this way. Our one job is to respond to that Love in worshipful awe and act in that Love toward anyone we meet in our daily paths. We fail at almost every turn and that is our great sin. We need to grieve our failings and then begin again–every day, in the experience of how He loves me, a sinner so far from Christ’s example.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtfulpastor Christy Thomas

      How eloquently you have put this, Peggy!

      • https://www.facebook.com/peggy.w.stahl Peggy Ware Stahl

        Thank you Christy. I’m inspired by your example of the acorns. I love the picture of how the world might be if we as Christians scattered love indiscriminately as the oaks scatter the acorns. Several of our houses have been blessed with many oaks and seemingly tons of acorns, but our last house had just one tree–a live oak suffering because it was too close to the foundation and driveway. But some years that live oak dropped so many acorns we literally couldn’t walk on the sidewalk, even though we’d use a blower to try to blow them off daily. Also, if damp, the acorns would leave stains on the concrete that took a long time to wear off. I’m going to aim to be like that!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtfulpastor Christy Thomas

          Am so glad this touched you! Thanks for writing–and I wish we’d all be more like the oaks and acorns.