Some days, I look up to heaven and say, “You’re utterly ridiculous.”

And it is not irreverence here. This is more of the knowing lover-smile the wife gives her adoring husband upon his coming home with a rather ostentatious bouquet of flowers and an almost-too-large box of chocolates.

It’s that kind of thing.

I look up at God, smile in wonder and say, “You are utterly ridiculous.” And there is a story behind the words.

The story begins with a young woman. She’s nice and sweet, quiet, you know.

This young woman is awful. There is not time nor the words to describe to you the selfishness of her heart. Any of those good and presumably “sweet” things she does, she does for her own motives. Whether it’s to have a clean conscience or to have other people think well of her, a good deed is never selflessly done. She is bitter and she has grumped at heaven and she has said I’m-comfy-why-do-I-need-to-feed-the-poor and she has hated fellow man from her heart and she has lived so long in horrifying apathy.

And these are sins of the heart, that you could never tell from looking at the girl on the outside. But inside, she’s wretched and miserable and—do not mock— wicked.

But there’s God. Yes, the Almighty, the Creator, the Lord of heaven and earth. There’s God.

There’s God who made her, who created her, who has a plan for her life (that she is foiling all the time). He watches her commit flagrant sin every. single. day.

And you know what, He loves her.

This is ridiculous.

It is foolishness. She has nothing to recommend her to God. God, the perfect Creator, who set the stars to dance in flawless harmony. God, the Holy One, the King, around whom angels sing praise night and day? No, she has nothing to tempt Him in her lowly estate. Sinful, self-centered, and faithless to the core, who could love such a woman as this?  Who could love such a woman as me?

The unpitiable creature I have described deserves wrath—utter wrath. And what she gets is atonement, acceptance from the God of God at the hand of his merciful, self-sacrificing Son. This is madness. I’m human and I know- if that prodigal son comes home to me, I’m not welcoming him into the house; I’m kicking him out onto the street.

But God doesn’t.

And I am human and I know- for all my attempts to be the older, I-never-left-you-aren’t-I-perfect son, I really am the younger. And God is my father, the one that runs to the bedraggled child coming home and throws her a party.

This gives me pause, weighs in my heart, and makes me look up to heaven with a heart grateful and redeemed and say,

“You’re crazy, God. Crazy for loving me. But thank You, thank You.”

And in that, the faithless becomes a little more faithful, the selfish, more selfless, and the unlovely, more lovely.

-But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” -1 Corinthians 1:27-31

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