Have you ever loved something so much that it hurt? Or loved beyond what seemed normal or healthy or even beyond comprehension? Have you ever been asked to sacrifice for that love? I'm guessing on some level we all can answer yes to one, if not all, of those questions. But have you ever been asked to lay your life down for that love? Die for that love? I'd have to answer no, with confidence.
In a moment of transparency, I'll share with you that I left our Easter service on Saturday wanting more. The pastor did a great job, but being the selfish being that I am, I wanted more. I wanted more depth, more passion, more of the story, if you will. I wanted to come in hopeful, then be broken down a bit by the reality of what we were actually celebrating as a church body, only then to be put back together word by word and piece by piece in His wholeness, before we were dismissed to hang out with bunnies, Peeps, and pastel decorations. I know that Easter is a glorious event, it's actually one of my favorite days of the year, but I also know that before the glory part came the pain, torment, torture and aloneness part. I know things had to "be finished" before they could truly begin. It hurts just to think about it, to the extent that my human mind can grasp, but I need to be reminded of it for the glory and grace to truly make sense.
As I rose on Sunday morning, before my alarm even went off mind you (Easter miracle), I decided to crank up the worship tunes for the hours I'd spend prepping our home and the meal for our families. Somewhere between baking the ham and plunging Peeps into a pot of chocolate, I had my own little church service and it was exactly what I had longed for the evening before.
One of the processional songs at our wedding this past summer was David Crowder's "How He Loves". I knew I wanted that song involved in the ceremony somehow, and then decided to have our parents walk in to it, along with my groom. There are so many worship songs that speak to my heart, but that one often seems to sum up what my heart feels, but that I simply don't have the words to explain. I wanted that song to be a reminder on our wedding day, that if we can just love each other with an ounce of how He loves us, we'd be set. No one loves quite like He loves. Not even close.
To death and back.
As I stirred my green beans on Sunday morning, the Lord stirred in my heart through this very song. His love, His story, His sacrifice, and His glorious promise and rebirth.
"And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don't have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about the way...
He loves us,
Oh, how He loves us"
My heart DOES turn violently inside of my chest.
And I DON'T have time to maintain these regrets.
When I think about THE WAY.
He LOVES US.
Again. And again. Without regret. Without remorse. He just loves us. Me AND you. To death and back.