On my way home one rainy night, I bumped into a group of Koreans. It was drizzling and we were just right on the street. They were in umbrellas and asked me in a Korean-English accent if I could respond to a short questionnaire. I looked at the 5-point quiz and it was about the Bible. I was pretty confident in my answers; much like a student who wanted to impress their teacher, I finished it pretty quickly, and they said goodbye by reminding me that God loved me.
We hear that phrase all the time. “God loves you”. It’s on bumper stickers and shirts and Bible covers. We knew that from the time we first learned about religion that He died on the cross for us. He loves you. And He loves me. He loves the me that hurts, that sins, that lies and gossips and feels good about her own deeds. I don’t know if I will ever get to fully understand His love. And maybe I won’t; I worry. I doubt. I want things to happen on my terms. I have a long way to go in comprehending the love that He has for me.
So what exactly does it mean to be loved by God? Is it the kind of crazy passionate love we see on TV? Is it the way we love our parents or peanut butter, or the way Romeo loves Juliet? I guess no matter how much I try, I will never really know exactly. It doesn’t come close to human love. It never tires. It’s big and unending and constant and awesome. He loves me just the way I am, but even that was not enough for Him. He wants me to love the way He does.
Maybe I won’t get to see those Koreans again. They had religious beliefs that I didn’t necessarily agree with, and I am pretty happy with my own church. Albeit their broken English and wrinkled quizzes, they stirred something in me that I knew I needed at that exact moment. I only needed to hear one thing: God loves me. Hopefully, the time will come that when someone tells me that, I will not only understand what it means, but I will feel it in the depths of my heart. And no matter how feeble or shabby my attempts are, I hope I can spend the rest of my life loving Him back.