When my kids come home from school, they say, “Hi mom! How was your day?” in this super kind but sort of tired, it's-been-a-long-day voice. And then Jake comes to the door, and all of a sudden their pitch goes up two octaves and their voice goes all sappy and energetic…. “OH! Jake!! Jake Jake Jake!! I love you, Jake! How was your day? Huh?? How was your day?? Did you have a good day? Huh? Was it a good day?”
Jake is the dog. Jake gets all the love. All. The. Love. “Jake, come sit with me on the couch. Jake, do you want to go get ice cream with me? Jake, who’s your favorite? I’m your favorite. Am I your favorite? I love you, Jake.”
All the love.
I would be mad about it if I didn’t share in the love. I may or may not also talk to him like that - saccharin sweet and high-pitched. He is literally the greatest dog on the planet and our family could not love him more.
How my kids feel about the dog, I feel about my kids. I want to squeeze them and lay on the floor with them and take naps with them, but they’re too old for that now. And too cool. Whatever. But I love them with that love that you can hardly contain. That love that stops your breath and squeezes your chest and fills your eyes with tears just at the sight of them.
It’s this indescribably deep and profound love that we cannot live without. For some, it’s our mom, who will always be the perfect jewel of grace and selflessness and sacrifice. Our confidant. The first one we call, or want to call, with any news, good or bad. Others find this love in their sibling or spouse (for the record, my spouse falls in this unspeakably profound love category - not just the dog and the kids) or newborn or best friend or cat. It’s just crazy love.
So yesterday when I was on the back porch doing my ministry work for the Lord, He whispered,
“Will you just stop for a minute and let me love on you?”
And then, because it’s what my brain can comprehend, He gave me the images of these worldly loves, and followed it up with, “I love you even more than that.”
How is that possible? There is a love deeper than this love that we feel for those in our lives who we love so much that we can’t even stand it? A love deeper than this love that causes us to hurt when they hurt and rejoice when they rejoice and long for them when they’re not around? I can’t imagine.
I can’t imagine, but I will try my very hardest to receive it. You love me more than that, Lord. You love me more than that. And not because I did anything. Just because I’m Yours.
He loves you like that too. Just like that.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. 1 John 3:1