My best friend and I met when I was about four years old. After that first introduction in my moms car we instantly hit it off. Our connection was magnetic. It was incredible! I couldn’t believe that someone so hilarious, joyful and vivacious could want to be friends with me. That special moment when we made eye contact and beamed at each other I decided I would hold on to that friend for the rest of my life.
This was my conviction until I grew a little older and like most teens, a little insecure about my “image” and my reputation. For a while I ditched this friend to hang out with the cool kids.
I soon learned that this was a decision that would never last for long…
The last time I pushed my best friend to the back burner of my social life I felt so empty, alone and misunderstood. I remember finding him and apologizing profusely before running right back to our favorite place together. That was were I belonged, with him. I knew this with all my heart.
This morning, Good Friday, I was enjoying my warm, green tea while reminiscing on the special times I have had with my best friend. While the reminiscing took place we laughed together and cried. I told him my deepest fears. He exchanged them with words of affirmation and encouragement. After our exchanges and a few moments of comfortable silence I asked him a question that had been on my mind for months…
“What was it like to be condemned and killed for something unjustly?”
As usual, he listened thought for a few seconds before responding. His smile told me that he did not mind the nature of the topic. His bright eyes bore into mine with a fiery intensity, liquid love set afire by flame. For some reason, the look in those eyes felt more overwhelming than usual.
“Not a moment of it felt good but you were worth every second of it Katie.” A burning sensation started in the depths of my belly as I kept staring into his eyes. It didn’t take long before I had to look away. His love was fierce. Fierce enough to set aflame portions of my heart that needed this kind of love and affirmation. He always knew what I needed, despite what I would ask for.
“Thank you…” Was all I could muster.The overwhelming flame had spread from my stomach into my heart. He smiled gently, wiped away a tear running down my cheek then leaned forward to wrap me in his strong embrace.
“I love you so much Katie. You were worth every gash, every nail, every piece of flesh that was torn. I love you….” He paused for a moment to survey my expression. “I love you. Will you please believe that I love you and that you were and are worth dying for?”
My eyes continued to water as his last words continued to ring through my mind, “you are worth dying for”. Even after all these years I still hadn’t managed to regard the fact that he bore my death sentence so that I could live. Despite the many church services I had attended and prayers I had recited I still didn’t fully grasp the extent of his love for me.
I choked back a muffled sob and pulled away from my best friend. He kept a gentle grasp on my shoulders and met me eye to eye. The eyes I looked into gazed deeply into my own with such tenderness. I knew that he could see into me. He knew every part of me yet still loved me despite all the messes I had made.
“Thank you for dying in my place.” I whispered.
“I would do it all over again.” Came his gentle reply.
“Jesus…” I sniffed.
“People still treat you the way the religious leaders did… they talk about you as though you are a convict. They mock you. How can you continue to have grace on people who hate you despite the fact that you died a horrible death for them?”
He smiled gently. “Most of them haven’t met me. They don’t have a relationship with me…even if they did and fell away from our relationship I would still keep loving them because that’s true love Katie. Love that has no boundaries. It is a love that is unrelenting and jealous as the grave. I will not stop loving those people, ever.”
“Love has no boundaries…”
“Please help me love them like you do Jesus.”
His wide smile lite up the room. “Lets begin by telling them what I have done for you.” I nodded, picked up my paper and started to write:
Flesh and blood slowly hit the earth beneath my knees
they slam into the dust, my firsts clench my heart pounds
I hear the groans, unearthly sounds of anguish
Ashamed, I can’t save this man
I thrust my head further beneath this cross, here I kneel on this ground
onto the dirt my tears fall down
I dare look up in my depravity
But do not see woeful eyes condemning me
for now I see and I believe
His grace is greater than my most pitiful mistakes
He consumes, His love alone more than I could hope to be for those around me
I look into His face
His eyes say, Daughter…
the King says
“Daughter, you’re set free.”
In light of this Good Friday, I would like you to know that there is a God who is so incredibly passionate for your heart. There is a Heavenly Father who knows of your every anxiety and has felt your every pain.
He wants to speak with you, meet with you and have you fall in love with him. He waits for you to make a choice. Will you begin a relationship with him or disregard the gift he has given so freely?
The choice is yours… but I’ll let you know that there’s nothing sweeter than being fully known and fully loved by someone who won’t let ANYTHING come between you and his love, not even death.
As usual, I welcome your comments, comments and concerns with wide open arms! Please don’t hesitate to leave them with me.