The lights go down and I relax a little. The worry abates a little. I know that I stand head and shoulders above the people around me and I greatly desire invisibility. Somewhere here are people who not only failed me, but were complicit in an attack on my life and livelihood. They maligned me and tried to use a dishonest brush of a traitor and megalomaniac to separate me from a life that I loved. One even said that my legacy needed to be diminished.
So I hide in a dark place.
Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me.
The music begins and I’m only half way into it. My cells are numb to the bass, my eyes dimmed to lighting effects. Fear robs my five of any one that recognizes what’s there, but still the music carries on.
You have been so, so good to me.
The critic tries to rear his ugly head. Who sings “so, so” in an honest and loving way? Boo. I feel my arms across my body, my face set in stone. Like a doubting person casting a look at a life I used to live, bereft of breath, refusing life ahead.
Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me.
I really want this song to leave me alone. My heart IS beating. My song IS waiting to be sung, and a still voice, immense in its consequence, small in projection is saying something that the chaos of my mind drowns out.
You have been so, so kind to me.
Ugh… I hate the word “kind.” It’s like “nice.” It’s how everyone who didn’t really know me back in the day used to compliment me. I was kind. I was nice. I was innert and did not really have an effect on people for good or for bad, and for that, they rewarded me with the participation trophy title of humanity. Nice. Kind. Bah.
That voice is still calling.
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.
The chaos quiets more. We’re singing about love. We’re singing about the Big Love. We’re singing about Love that makes things different. Overwhelmed by it, we stare in awe at its effects. It sticks around. Doesn’t quit. Doesn’t require anything from us.
the voice is nearly audible.
Oh it chases me down, fights till I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine.
I love…The voice is still near me and it’s not gotten louder, but I am becoming quieter. I think I know where it’s going and i don’t think I can do this right now. I’m watching out for enemies. I am on defense. It would be nice to have an ally, though. He’s fighting, I just sang.
I love you
Why? Don’t you know what I am? Don’t you know what I’ve done? I am covered in the shame of what was done to me. I was publicly shamed and my people bore it with me. I was convicted without justice of wrong doing and thrown away like garbage. But You… You kept me. You picked me up. You found me where I was discarded. And You call me Yours. You do that because You paid for me and You want Your stuff back. I’m just trying to preserve what You value.
I am…Your voice is here with me now, much clearer. But what If I’m listening to You and I see them, or they want to confront me?
I am why… I don’t know what You want to say to me, but I don’t know if I’m ready to hear it, or believe it, or to live it.
I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it. Still you give Yourself away. Oh, the overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God.
I am why you are here.
And I give myself over to the worship in a way that I haven’t been free to do so in months. Possibly ever. I am free to worship Him without fear and without shame. It’s just Him and me. I see the convictions of the past fall away and new definitions take place. True definitions… True value…
When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me. You have been so, so good to me. When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me. You have been so, so kind to me.
And suddenly I’m here with my God. I’m not anywhere else. There is no one else. There is everyone else. I am one of a billion billion souls lifted in reverence and surrender to the One who knows exactly what He has called me and where He calls me still. There is nothing more I want than to be in that moment and with Him. Not because I need, but because I desire so greatly to experience Him. And while I experience Him, I want to lift His name up with something that will make Him happy that I am near.
I see everything laid out in front of me. His price. His sacrifice. His prize. His plan. His kingdom.
There’s no shadow You won’t light up, mountain You won’t climb up, runnin’ after me. There’s no wall You won’t kick down, lie You won’t tear down, comin’ after me.
And here I am with Him. With all of us. We are One. We are so many. And His greatness covers us, defines us, urges us upward, settles our chaos. He attuned our ears to His purposes and to His song.
One objection still breathes.
Is it ok to call You “reckless?”
What do you, in your terms, call someone who takes his most precious gift and allows it to have violence and dishonor done to it… to have it destroyed before your very eyes and cursed for the whole world to see, simply to bring an unworthy foe over to your heart as a friend?
Reckless. But You knew what You were doing.
Do you believe that?
Do you believe I know what I’m doing?
Are you ready to follow?
It will look reckless. Does that matter.
Not if You’re with me.
Then it’s time to love.
Oh, the overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God.
Caleb Culver, Cory Asbury, Ran Jackson, “Reckless Love,” (Bethel Music Publishing, Heritage Music Publishing, and Richmond Park Publishing: 2017) CCLI# 7089641