I laid on my bed and bawled. My pillowcase was damp on the edge, and I was desperately trying to muffle my sobs because I knew, I just knew, If I didn’t, that my mother would hear me, and then she would walk in and gently ask, “What’s the matter, honey?”
That always makes it so much worse.
And the pain. It would never end. Because… He… [choking]… He didn’t like me!
That, my friend, is junior high. I don’t even remember that guy’s name. His face, yes. His name, no.
You’ve probably doubted it. At least once in a while. You might even doubt it right now.
Everyone has that feeling from time to time. “Nobody loves me.” Sometimes, we even question whether someone likes us.
“Well, except for Mother Teresa. She was certainly someone everyone loved.” Wrong.
“Okay. Fine. Jesus. Everyone loved Jesus.” Wrong.
I think you get my point. Everyone has feelings of being unloved. But most of the time, those feelings are based on things we do (/or don’t do).
People didn’t get angry at Lincoln because he was a big jerk, but because he did something jerky. Or, as this example illustrates, he said something jerky:
“I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races,”1
People didn’t think Mother Teresa was a big jerk. Probably ever. But they did (and some still do) think she was misguided (or worse, which you can see here), and some even think she’s in hell (some balderdash to that account is here—I don’t want people to think I make up everything on this blog).
When someone doesn’t like people don’t like someone, it’s generally because of what they do. (Cheats at poker, for example.) Not because of who they are. (Left-handed brunette.) God’s not like that. God loves us in spite of who we are.
Let’s anthropomorphize a bit here. (It makes things easier.) God never has a moment when, looking down, God says, “That Cynthia, she thinks she’s doing okay, but I’ve got news for her. She’s really quite a loser. In fact, by My standards, she does some pretty nasty things. That’s just wrong. I don’t even like her.” Guess what? That never happens. Nope. (God didn’t even say that about Hitler. I know, I wasn’t going to bring up Hitler. I hate bringing up Hitler. But, you’ll have to admit, in this case, it’s pretty useful. Because… Hitler.)
I, as a Christian, can point to various Biblical passages when I talk about how God loves me (and you).
- But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
- from afar the LORD appears: With age-old love I have loved you… (Jeremiah 31:3)
- For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
But other faith traditions also believe this. Rabbi Shohama Harris Wiener writes poignantly of this in his article, “Does God Love Me?” For a Muslim perspective, there is this lovely piece by Quthrun Nada Djamil, “Allah loves His servant more than a mother who loved children.”
I can feel confident that God loves me. So can you. Rest assured, you are loved.
1That nonsense was uttered on September 18, 1858, in Charleston, Illinois, at the fourth debate with Stephen Douglas, the transcript of which you can read here. Obviously, Lincoln’s position evolved over time.
I’m joining up with the delightful Holley Gerth for her series, “Coffee for Your Heart.” You can read about it by clicking on the illustration at the top, and read more entries (or link up yourself) here.