Bad breath and God’s radical love for us!
“Oh...your breath stinks! But Mom, I love you stinky breath and everything!” says Zach as he nuzzles my face this morning. Life lesson Zach, don’t nuzzle someone’s face at 0’dark 30 if you don’t want to smell stinky breath. EVERYONE has bad breath in the morning! I know I am not alone in this. And that fact alone gives me the courage to write this post. My child taught me yet another valuable spiritual lesson. Zach loves me anyway. Zach stated the facts—my breath was stinky. But he also knows I am more then my bad breath in the morning. I am also his mommy and he loves me. Zach could have responded in a lot of different ways. He could have said “go brush your teeth, then I will cuddle with you!” Or he could have pulled away and not cuddled and we both would have missed those precious moments. But he didn’t. He leaned in even more and drew me to him.
As if to say, “it’s ok, even in your humanness I love you.”—nothing is more human than stinky morning breath. It’s something we all share in common. But Zach chose to embrace it and love me anyway. He didn’t deny a part of me he doesn’t like. He loved me through it.
Just as God loves us through our ‘stinky breath’ things in life. He doesn’t deny our faults, but He loves us through them.
Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
God loves us at the very core of our humanness. He doesn’t wait for us to get our acts together before He loves us. He doesn’t wait for us to ‘brush our teeth’--He goes before us with His love to pull us to Him. He loves us right in the middle of our humanness. He is not expecting any of us to not have flaws or bad breath. He just leans in and loves as if to say, “it’s ok, even in your humanness I love you.”
Another truth in this is I could have pulled away from Zach. I could have covered my face from him in shame. But by allowing him to pull me close we had the chance to cuddle for some extra time this AM. (SIDE NOTE—For me as a parent those are the moments I treasure. And to be honest, I take the treasured parenting moments when I can get them because they are few and far between. Parenting is not for wimps...that is for sure.)
My point is that I could have chosen to pull away. I could have missed receiving his love because I didn’t want to share a part of me that I don’t like and would rather change about myself. And I would have missed the unconditional love he wanted to lavish on me. Just as God wants to lavish His love on us.
1 John 3:1 “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"
God is always calling us to Him. Even with the most shameful and embarrassing parts of us He is calling us to Him. Some times I forget that even in our most shameful humanness, He loves us.
I have more than a few difficult parts of myself to embrace than I would like to admit. But somehow knowing I am loved anyway makes it easier to admit them...
Daily Grace to you,
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