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God is Love.

The people who know God well—mystics, hermits, prayerful people, those who risk everything to find God—always meet a lover, not a dictator.

                                                                                    -Richard Rohr


What if we are harsher with ourselves than God is?  I think we are.


photo by Nathan Anderson

What would it mean if we loved ourselves with a sacrificial love?  What would it look like if we cared for ourselves with a love that was willing to let go of our fears, our prejudices, our worn-out mind-talk, our old patterns of thinking, not just about others, but about ourselves?


I spoke with someone who was feeling far from God.  Their life was difficult and their relationships were messy.  They had not been very “religious” lately.  And they were uncertain if they could pray.  They thought that maybe God would not want to hear from them. 


These are the moments when I hear someone’s story and I pray, “Okay, God.  Help me find the right words and say them in a way that helps.  Amen.”  God did not disappoint.


I asked them, “Growing up, did you have a favorite grandparent?”  They did.  “How would they greet you when you hadn’t seen each other in a long time?”  A hug, asking how they have been… love.   


I can picture God this way. 


Not judgy and picky, the way I can be about so many things, including myself.  But with the welcoming arms and kind voice of a favorite grandparent.


What if what we give up this Lent are all the ways we get judgy and picky about ourselves, and take up seeing ourselves the way God sees us...  as the beloved?


What would change?

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