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turn awayThere’s someone in our family who over the last few years has drifted away and become very quiet, going through some tough times.  I admit, we didn’t try hard enough to stay in touch, to care, to reach out during those times.  I’m ashamed of that.  I’ve asked forgiveness for that from this person but am not making much headway.  In the last year or so we’ve tried harder to get in touch, send emails, call, reach out, getting no response.  I’ve had dreams in which our family and this person are reunited and reconcile all the differences.  I’m hoping that’s one of those dreams that becomes a “deja vu” moment later in life.  You know when you have a deja vu moment and think “I swear I’ve dreamed this before.”  Does that happen to you?

Anyway…lately I’ve been getting kinda mad that this person won’t respond.  I mean, come on, I’m trying!  The least they can do is try back.  We used to be close years ago.  We’re family, for pete’s sake.  It has lately been very frustrating to me, so much so that I want to just stop reaching out and loving.  As I was thinking about that today, I realized that this is how God must feel in unrequited love from so many of his children, those He hand-made in His own image.  One big difference between me and God – oh my, there are MANY differences – is that He never gives up or stops loving, even when we downright reject His love or gifts.  That is amazing to me.  When we hurt Him, He loves.  When we disobey Him, He still loves.  When we fall behind and don’t spend time with Him, He loves.  Incomprehensible!  I don’t know how He does it.  He NEVER gives up!  He expects me to follow His example but I don’t really want to right now.  I know I need to.

I suppose one of the reasons God can do this is that His love isn’t a selfish love…He just loves.  He IS love.  I’m not loving only to get loved back, but it would be nice!  Last year we got to have supper with a good friend of mine from college who I hadn’t seen since that time.  He shared some painful times he had been through with his family and how he was estranged from his sister and mom for years.  He never gave up loving them, calling, writing, stopping by, etc.  They flat-out told him to stop or go away several times but he didn’t quit.  In time (years), God helped his mom and sis to open up and they were finally able to start reaching back to him, and eventually reconciling.  What a joy!  But what determination he had.  I was so moved by the way he pursued them with persistent, unconditional love.

God, give me that kind of love because it’s not naturally springing up from me, that’s for sure.  Help me to not get angry, but just to have your love for this person in my life.  I so want to be close again.  Help me die more to myself today so you can put more of Yourself in me, filling me with Your stronger, purer, tenacious, faithful love.

“…let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.  But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” I John 4:7

“God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful.”  Romans 5:8