This one is for the girls who pretend to like sports.
And the guys who would pay money to be able to grow a full beard.
You are loved immeasurably. Read this and weep.
His name was Alex Kilpatrick and he had a rat tail and a binder full of Pokemon cards that he traded at recess. I was eight and he was eight and he was the first guy whose name I ever scribbled down in tattered notebooks. I still remember the time he picked me 7th for his kickball team in gym class. The time he called me smarter than Molly Bright. And then the time he asked Molly to be his girlfriend. And as I sat against the rusty fence reading Goosebumps and they played tetherball in the field, I will say, I didn’t so much feel sad as much as I felt lonely.
We are lonely people.
And what if, why that is, has more to do with who we were created to be with; rather than, who we have lost.
The most fascinating thing I’ve come to know about God is his desire, above all else, to be with us. In Genesis, he doesn’t just create Eve and Adam and retreat to watch someplace from afar, but he is with them. He walks with them, talks with them, finds them after they eat that fruit. Might it be that the most overlooked truth in the story of creation is simply that, we were created to be with God. And we know from scripture that “God is love”. And God was with us. So True Love was with us. Can you even believe that? Most days, I don’t.
Fast forward past that beautiful reality and we have Adam and Eve, led to disobey God, under the guise that they will become like Him. In that moment they inadvertently choose themselves as gods over the true God. The ripple of that being, an exchange of true Love for the love of ourselves. We want to be the most loved, we want to feel chosen, want to feel “destined” for someone else, and so we end up searching for capital L Love in each other instead of finding it in it’s creator. I don’t mean to say that human love is nonessential or irrelevant or even incapable. But without the firmest grasp on the reality of Agape love, love from your creator, I dare to say that human love will prove futile. Love from people matters, yes. But it is not everything. It is flawed and often corrupted by a love that is more about ourselves than the person we’re loving.
And so here we are. Here we are pretending to be bad at math so that a guy might feel the need to rescue us. Here we are puffing our chests out and crushing cans on our heads so that a girl might find us a suitable rescuer. Here we are sitting against the fence watching Alex watch Molly. Here we are changing as much as we can about ourselves to convince someone we are actually worth knowing. All the while our creator himself stands by shouting, I already know you. Whispering, I only create things worth loving. We have, in the widest tragedy that ever was, made ourselves our own gods- gods of faulty love, desperate love, empty love, in order to supplement the inherent void we are meant to feel in a true God’s absence. We have become people that look left to right with desperate eyes, begging to be loved because we’d rather our friends and family worship us than the God who created us. Yes, it is no longer worth pretending that that small voice in your chest screaming “love me, love me” is not that of an idol. We have made ourselves our own gods. And because of that, we are lonely people.
Enter a baby– swaddled in cloths, under a star, and “He will be called “Immanuel”, which means ‘God with us'”. God created us to be with Him. We messed up, you know the deal, but then God went to great lengths to be with us again through the person of Jesus. So when I say “love was with us”, I mean “love is with us”. Love came back for us. And some of you probably know and would say that you believe that much. But when you take a second to be honest with yourself, I think you might also admit, that at the end of the day, you spend more time reaching for the people in your life who might like you, than reaching for the creator that already does.
No greater tragedy maybe; but, no sweeter truth.
God is with us.
We are not alone.
And Love is in the air, because he created the air; not because you do or don’t have a feeling.
So Happy Belated Valentine’s Day, you beautiful saps.
*names changed to protect the real Alex and Molly who maybe got married and lived happily ever after