Maybe John Lennon was right when he said “all ya need is love.”
You know I’ve been going through a rough patch, Lord. I know You’re real, I know You love me, I know I’m on my way to Heaven (shouting “victory,” as we used to sing in church) and I know the dreams and visions You’ve given me are about to come to fruition.
Lucifer knows it, too, which is why he’s been comin’ at me so hard lately.
Well, Luci, I know you’re too freaking stupid and powerless to read my thoughts, so please allow me to say in writing, in case you have any doubts in the matter:
I love my Lord. He’s the only semblance of real peace and joy I’ve ever had, and I’m riding this thing out ’till the end, no matter how ugly things get.
Ya see, I’m a child of the King. That makes me and all my Christian brothers a Prince, and makes each one of my sisters a Princess. They may not feel much like royalty in these dark times, but that’s exactly what we are.
Lord, You and I first met when I was five years old. I came to the altar at that old Baptist church in New Franklin, Missouri.
I recall them having a children’s church, and the leader was a bit “portly,” like me. In first grade, having already been called various derivatives of “fat” by school punks and bullies, I asked the children’s church leader, “If it’s supposed to be so perfect, will you and me still be FAT in Heaven?”
I couldn’t figure out why he looked so shocked and insulted, or why he never answered the question. “That was rude,” I thought. “He completely ignored me.”
I remember getting baptized at kid’s camp a couple years later. Mom and Dad had fallen out of church (which my wife and I would also do many years later). After I told my Grandpa about getting baptized, he said, “Well that’s great, son. Tell ya what you do: you go right up to your daddy and tell him what happened, right to his face.”
I did, and couldn’t figure out why Dad didn’t say anything, and turned and walked away. Years later, he told me he had to turn away because he started crying.
Couple weeks later our whole family went to church together for the first time since I was a toddler. To this day, Dad is the most faithful church goer I know, and has served in all sorts of capacities, from taking the offering to Deacon.
Grandpa said that’s when my ministry started.
Even though it would’ve been easy to turn away from You for good, Lord, I kept coming back. When I was picked on and put down as a kid, I found solace in prayer and church.
When I had to quit the football team because of early onset of back pain, and was ostracized by some of the guys I thought were my friends, I found peace in my walk with You.
In 1985 I was in Bible college, and had been burned in my previous two relationships. Remember Lord, I told You I was DONE with love? You must’ve smiled, let me have a few weeks to sulk, and then sent me an angel.
My wife, Laura. Thirty four years and counting, still happy as ever. She was the unattainable one, God. For the first time in My life I thought, “I’m not good enough for this girl.” Yet there she was, standing by me, through thick and thin, in darkness and light. Through poverty, depression, sickness, pain and beyond. Always loving me. Always working hard to make me laugh, no matter how bad the pain and depression got.
And You gave her to me just because that’s what You do: love us. You give us gifts we don’t deserve and could never earn. Gifts beyond the miracles of love, and of children and grandchildren.
Eternal gifts like salvation and Heaven. Of mercy and grace. Of forgiveness and redemption.
We’re so blatantly unworthy, yet here we are, with a basket full of eternity.
Thank You, Lord, for always being there. Thank You for loving us, even when we fly our middle finger in the face of Your love. Even when we spit in the eye of Son. Even when we curse You. I don’t understand that kind of mercy, but I’m so very grateful for it.
For salvation, forgiveness and compassion…
For Your never-ending love, and the promise of Heaven…
For getting me through a difficult childhood and my even more challenging teenage years…
For sending me my angel, Laura…
For my amazing kids and grandkids…
Through agony and illness, You remain stubborn in Your love for me. I don’t get it, but thanks, God.
It’s You and me, together, forever.