rich in kindness and grace Rich in Kindness and Grace.  Is that the way you view God? For a long time, I didn’t.  God was more the task master, the parent I needed to please, the scorekeeper of my foibles and flaws.  Then… I became a mom…and understood unconditional love as never before.

Babies are cute and sweet and helpless so they get away with alot… poopy diapers blow outs that not only smell terrible, but get crap everywhere.  Sleepless nights of wailing and demanding to be held… even stretch marks aren’t so back when we snuggle up together – drunk on new baby smell! Yep, babies usually get a free pass… loving them is easy.

But even as they grew older, it didn’t matter if my kiddos:

  • were up all night
  • colored on the walls
  • pinched their brother
  • bit the pastor’s kid in the nursery at church
  • spent time in the principals office
  • rolled their eyes at me
  • lied to me
  • ignored me
  • mouthed off or acted out.

NONE of these things changed my love for them. “It is an is!” as I’m known to say when something just IS.

Of course, I didn’t LIKE them in some of these moments, I mean who likes the teenager mouthing off one minute and asking for a ride to the mall the next?  No one!  But love them still, yep!

I remember when I was pregnant with our first child, being really afraid of what I would do if my kid ever threw up!  How on earth would I handle it when the sound or smell of vomit sent me to the bathroom to puke myself.

Gross, I know, but when it happened,  I realized how much Love does…

One night about 3 in the morning, I heard our 4-year old daughter crying out for me.  (Moms only half sleep so we can hear our babies if they need us, (no matter how old they get) – no wonder we are so tired for years on end!!)  I raced down the hall to get her, drawing her into my arms with soothing words and hugs.

“Mommy, I don’t feel so good,” were barely out of her mouth before the vomit hit.  Everywhere… the remnants of her dinner of mac and cheese, hot dogs and red koolaid. GROSS!  Smelly and all over me, the bed, the floor.

She cried harder and I moved into action, without thinking or even aware of the fears that plagued me about how I would handle this kind of situation.

She needed me.  I love her… and Love Does! Vomit taught me about how unconditional God’s love is!

Have you  been there?  In a moment of total  YUCK and acted from love rather than your own needs, wants, preferences, or fears?

That is a mark of unconditional love.  Love so engage with the other and their needs yours don’t really matter.

If I could love my kids this way, with an unreasonable, unshakeable, unconditional love -even in them midst of their worst moments- How much more is God’s love for me?  Being a mom changed my view and expanded my understanding of who God is and God’s love for me.

What we do – or don’t do-  doesn’t impact God’s love for us.  God knows all our yuck and God’s love and heart for you and me remains the same.

Jesus demonstrated this the time, as he touched the leper, talked to the outcast woman, ate with the rejects, washed the feet of his friends…

An even greater gift, Jesus went to the cross, on purpose, fully aware of the physical, mental , emotional agony awaiting him.

Why… because of love.

from She Reads Truth- Day 32.

I love this translation.  So rich in kindness and grace.  These words describe the God who loves us.

Yes, I was annoyed  that my teenager could roll her eyes at me, ignoring my pearls of wisdom, and THEN 10 minutes later ask for a favor,  BUT – it also communicated to me that she knew I loved her and my care, my kindness and grace wasn’t based on her actions, but simply on the fact that she is my daughter!

As God’s children, it is the same for us! God’s love IS!  God’s heart toward you and me is filled with Kindness and Grace!

What if we let these words and the images of what Kindness and Grace look like in our lives shape the way we view and interact with God?  How would that impact not only your view of God but your interactions and conversations with God as well?

I would love to hear your thoughts on how your view God, what shaped your view and how verses like Eph. 1:7-8 impact you.

3 Responses to “How vomit taught me about God…”

  1. Linda

    I have given a lot of thought and intentional prayer to the hows and wherefors of unconditional love as well as loving indifference. This journey to gain understanding (acceptance) has twisted its way through pride, arrogance, willfullness, jealousy, compassion, judgment and a whole myriad of attitudes and behaviors. Clearly, the journey isn’t complete, nor do I think it will be so in this physical life because I think no matter how much we love, there is always qualification. I also believe that we must be able to love everyone without condition before we can truly love anyone without condition.
    Separating behaviors from loving–I don’t love what you do, but I love who you are–helps, but it is still qualification, conditional.
    I believe we can find moments of unconditional love and I strive for these wondrous and joyful moments. Living in the moment, casting aside ego, reveling in nature, a baby’s smell, the touch of a loved one, a heavenly melody or a voice raised in praise give us a glimpse of what can be. But those moments are not sustainable in this life. Perhaps if we were cloistered from the consequences of choices made by others we could sustain love without condition or qualification.
    It doesn’t mean we stop striving; those moments are to be cherished and honored, just as we are cherished and honored by our God.

    Reply
  2. Jen

    While I love this verse, it is hard for me to wrap my head around it. God loving meunconditionally, showing so much grace, how does he not get so frustrated with us and our sins and our disobedience at times. How does he do it ? While I know I have this for my kids I struggle with showing it. Parenting can be so tough, do unrewarding and so hard on my weaknesses. I wish I was even close to the kind of Love that the prophets talk about. I’m not there yet to embrace this Love but I am in the process of believing and accepting his kindness and Grace.

    Reply
    • Susie Miller

      Parenting is so tough and while I don’t always act in the most loving manner, my heart for my kids is unchanged – I love them no matter what. AND YES!! I believe that this is the way God looks at and loves us. I don’t know how God does it, but one thought is: God is perfect in Love and not swayed by circumstances as we are. Embracing God’s love for me began as I asked myself how I would feel if my child did/ acted/ said to me the ugly things I was afraid would scare away God. The answer was always no… I would still love them – a heart set commitment – This helped me lean into and begin to believe God’s love and grace for me. Reframing our thinking is crucial to growth… it is hard work, but worth it! Hugs to you Jen

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