After a recent gathering, the woman whose home we were meeting in (a total stranger) asked if she could pray over Wendy and me.
Of course, we said, “Yes.”
As she prayed for us, it was clear that she had several specific words of encouragement for both Wendy and myself. One thing she shared was that God looked at me and was very pleased. But honestly, as she prayed these things I sat there in disbelief.
I did not accept this in my heart because when I think about what God must feel when He looks at me all I come up with is “disappointment”.
All I can see is how much I’ve blown it and how far I’ve missed the mark.
Still, the word she gave us was very beautiful and touching. We thanked her for her blessing, but deep down I wasn’t buying it.
Later that night I prayed and asked the Lord, “If what she said was really what you think of me and how you feel about me, I need you to confirm it through some other witness.”
The next evening, my oldest son was sitting at our computer working on his homework. I felt an urge to surprise him with a blessing, so I took my brand new noise-canceling headphones and placed them over his head as he worked. Then I set my iPod to one of his favorite songs and started to play it. He looked up at me, smiled, and nodded his head to the music.
As I left the room, I distinctly heard the Lord whisper to me, “That’s how I feel about you, my son. I just love you. I love blessing you. I love you because you are made in my image, not because of what you’ve done, or what you fail to do. I just love you, Keith.”
Suddenly, a memory from the week that my son was born flashed into my mind. He slept between Wendy and me for those first few days after we brought him home from the hospital. One morning I woke up before either of them and I rolled over and looked at my newborn son sleeping peacefully next to me. Out of nowhere, I experienced an overwhelming flood of love for him.
Why? I wondered. Why do I love him so much? He hasn’t spoken a word. He hasn’t done anything for me. He couldn’t if he wanted to. But my love for him was strong and overpowering and endless. At that moment I knew I would die for him without a second thought. I knew I would do anything necessary to protect him, to bless him, to show him this invincible love that was swelling up inside of me.
It was then that I heard God whisper to me, “That’s how much I love you, my son. You were made in my image. When I look at you, I see my child and I am overcome with love.”
The memory of that experience, combined with this fresh reminder of His enduring love was just so beautiful to me. All I could do was say, “Thank you, Abba.”
He loves me. Now I finally believe it.
Join me at one of these upcoming events:
Organic Church Conference with Neil Cole, Ross Rohde, Dan Notti and Keith Giles: Saturday, May 12 in Long Beach, CA. Register here>
The Nonviolent Love of Christ: How Loving Our Enemies Saves The World, with Joshua Lawson and Keith Giles: Saturday, June 16 in Portsmouth Ohio.
Keith Giles is the author of several books, including “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb”. He is also the co-host of the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean. He and his wife live in Orange, CA with their two sons.