I hold your heart in my hands. I held your heart in my hands long before you even came to be, long before it was ready to give its first beat. I held your heart in my hands while I sewed it together, while I wove its intricate fibers into the strongest muscle in your body. While I formed the symbol you use for love, pain, joy, all emotion, even your soul. The organ that supplies your body with blood, that keeps the life flowing through your veins, that beats every second without you telling it to. I told it to. I tell it to. This I gave to you: life. And then I gave to you eternal life, so that even after your heart is tired and can’t give another beat, so that even when the number of beats I gave to you are finished, you will not be finished. I gave to you my love, unconditional.
Maybe you think of me as someone who forbids you. You cannot do this, you cannot do that. You may not realize that 6 of the 7 holy “events” I gave to the Israelites were celebrations, and only 1, the Day of Atonement, was somber. You may not realize that when I made the world I told Adam and Eve to enjoy everything, that everything was for them, and I only gave them one command. And after they sinned and I gave the Law, it was so that we could be closer, you and I, despite sin. And then I knew it was impossible for us to be reconciled, because the Law was incomplete, the conviction without the salvation. And so I gave you myself. I came to earth and lived as one of you, and then I let you nail me to a cross, a wooden thing I also planned, from its days as a seedling and then a tree and then the wooden beams. Even my cross I created, and could have as easily destroyed. I, Jesus, died, the sins of all humanity pinned on my shoulders, and I rose again, defeating death and Satan and everything that holds you in chains.
And I have given you a choice, because I love you. I will not force you to have a relationship with me. I want you to have life and peace and joy. This you can only have if you choose to love me, if you choose to let me save you from your sin. And even after I have saved you, I still give you a choice. You can still sin, you can still do wrong, but you can also choose to ask my forgiveness and it will be done. When I forgive you – and I do this without begging or pleading, simply with a sincere heart – I do not remember your sin. I do not store your sins away for use in the future. If you do something for the 50th time it is the 1st time for me, if you have asked forgiveness for the first 49. And if you ask forgiveness for 50 sins, it is no more difficult for me to forgive them than it is to forgive 1.
The father of lies will tell you you are not good enough for me, or that you brought this on yourself and deserve it, or that I cannot forgive you. But I love you because I am perfect, not because you are, so nothing you do can change my love for you.
I am Jesus Christ, the lover of your soul. When you are sitting in an alleyway, filthy and diseased, I am the one who comes to get you. You can never use up my love. When I discipline you it is because I love you. When I speak to you I do not lie. You cannot disappoint me. When you sin I am angry, but my anger does not change how much I love you. I am angry at the hurt you bring yourself. I am angry at the wall you put between us. But I will never love you less, and if you think or hear otherwise it is a lie. I never run out of second chances to give you. I love you. Come rest in me.
Song of Songs, Psalm 139, Mark, Matthew, Luke, John