My good friend, Sabrina Stillwell, CSB first published the following article in its entirety on Spirituality.com. She shortened it for Creedible.com. Thank-you Sabrina for sharing these ideas with us in a blog format! Enjoy everyone:
Christ Jesus showed through his life and ministry God’s unconditional, impartial love for everyone. One might ask, How can God love unconditionally? The answer, to me, lies in what God sees, being Spirit and seeing only spiritually. Genesis 1 explains that God creates and then calls His creation “very good.“ So, how do we see that very good creation in ourselves, in others, and all around us? Jesus tells his followers that they must be like little children—humble, open, and receptive.
I have a sweet example of this. My daughter, her husband, and their four children came to our home and attended church with us one Sunday. My two grandsons, William and Bennett, joined my regular Sunday school class. During the class we talked about how noisy life can be, and if we want to hear God we need to be very quiet and listen. I shared with my little friends one of my favorite ways to listen to God. When I take a bath, I close my eyes, get very quiet and just listen. We talked about how we can all get quiet and listen to God.
Monday morning came and the family was getting ready to drive home. My two granddaughters were in the bathroom, when Bennett went in for a few minutes. When he came out, he enthusiastically told my husband, “Grandpa, Grandpa, I was quiet, I was listening to God!” Grandpa asked, “So what did God say to you Ben?“ Ben replied, “Bennett, I love you.“ (My two granddaughters later told me, he lay down in the empty bathtub!) Here my grandson had gotten quiet and listened, and his innocent, childlike thought was receptive to God’s message of love for him. Now, it’s easy to see how God can love a sweet little child, but what about someone not so sweet?
Think of the Apostle Paul. Paul was originally a persecutor of the Christians until he truly had a “wake-up call“ from God. He wrote in Romans, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor rulers, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow… can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And I would add, not even our own mistakes, misconceptions, sins, or character flaws, can separate us from the love of God, or cause God to stop loving us. Each of us, in God’s eyes, is the beloved child of God, eternally. There is no other reality, no other record.
Several years ago, my dear mom passed away. As I prayed about missing her, I knew she was where she had always been—in the arms of divine Love. Then the grief left me. But, about a year later, another wave of grief came over me, a sadness that her life while having joy, also had some deep sadness and regret. As I listened for God’s messages, I heard, “Sweetheart, this isn’t my record of her.” I realized that God’s record of my mom, really God’s record for each one of us, includes no sorrow, pain, loss, or mistakes, because God’s view has been eternally the Genesis 1 view where, “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”
God sees each one of us through eyes of unconditional love and sees His perfection manifested in us, His precious babies. And every day we have the opportunity (and the ability) to see ourselves and others through these eyes of unconditional Love.