Still Loved

The laundry basket is on the part of the L couch that sticks out.  The kitchen towels for downstairs.  My water bottle and a cold, half-consumed cup of coffee are on the side table.

The windows are open just enough to hear the playground noise from our neighborhood school.  It is a sweet, sweet sound.  There is enough laughter to fill every corner of my house.  It is the only noise here.  I am lying on the comfy couch upstairs, day 2 ½ of being sick.  Getting better, but being slow about it.

I am thinking about my little guys from Gospel Kids on Sunday – I wonder what they are doing.  How are they doing?

And my nephews who are growing into men and my niece who is still little enough to want to be held.

I have a million thoughts running through my head.  A lot about kids and babies and parents. 

I listened to a podcast about a baby born weighting just one pound.  The parents fought for that baby’s life.  And the whole time they talked about being pro-choice. 

Then there was a sermon about abortion I heard this morning.  

And for the last several weeks I haven’t gotten this other baby out of my mind…

One whose cord was not cut.  One who was not carefully washed and carefully wrapped in the softest of blankets.  One that received no compassion, no love.  She was left in an open field.  Left for the wild to kill her.  Her parents hated her.  Hated her.  And left her for dead.

But there was someone who found her.  He saw her wallowing in her blood, and whispered into her ears, “Live, baby.  Live”.  He screamed  it into her heart as he picked her up.  He tore off his shirt and placed her right to his bare chest.  He wrapped them both up so tightly.  She could hear it.  She could feel it.  His heart beating for both of them.

He cleaned her with warm water.  His big hands -looking even bigger next to this small thing- washing her with gentleness.  Washing her with his own breaking heart for her.  He loved her. 

And she grew up in that… a home of peace and protection and tenderness.  Safe from danger.  Safe from destitution.  Safe from destruction.

But along the way she took those things for granted.  She was beautiful.  Everyone could see that.  And as a young woman she knew the power she had when she wielded her beauty in front of men.  Her adopted father was a powerful man … and her position, even her money… she could use to get what she wanted. 

Even though everything she had of value was because of her father, she couldn’t care less about him.

She used the men around her.  And when they grew too disgusted by her – she would bribe them.  Bribe them! 

That poor little creature in the middle of the field –naked and wounded from no love – had returned to the same place.  This time as not as a newborn, but as a woman.

And I am her.

And you are her.

We have taken the beauty of being God’s Own and have flung it around.  We’ve built idols to ourselves and have given our souls to a thousand other gods… prostituting God’s glory so we could get a little of our own.

But eventually we get to the end of the chapter.  Chapter 16 of the book of Ezekiel.  And that unloved baby who was picked up but then became worse than a prostitute… she was still loved.  And so are we still loved.  Not just loved…  but forgiven. 

kaw-far’ …  The sweetest word of this story.   Our sins have been covered, canceled, atoned for, cleansed, forgiven, pardoned, reconciled, purged.

It isn’t that God doesn’t care about our sins.  How could He not?  They are serious and deadly and against everything He is.  He says that we will know it.  We will be ashamed when we see who we really are. 

And that we will see who He really is through His kaw-far'ing.

He is the one who found us in our own blood… and even though we’ve run to a thousand false saviors,   He is the one who gave His Son to bleed so that we could be kaw-far'ed.

Oh, Lord, restore to me the joy of your salvation. Psalm 51:12

Sweet, baby girl, “Live.”


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