I’m reading a book called Divine Nobodies by Jim Palmer and tonight I’m absolutely crying. I mean I’m not much of a crier, you won’t probably ever see me cry. Don’t let that fool you though, I’m a softy, and I do cry often when reading books or watching movies alone. Well, actually even then I don’t cry often, but I definitely tear up and get a little emotional. I’m not bragging that I don’t cry in front of people, I know that it’s the machismo culture that men have been brought up in that makes me this way. I’m fully aware that crying is not a sign of weakness and there are several men that I admire that I see cry often at sentimental moments, but still it’s engrained in me to not cry easily in front of others. I know it’s silly.
Anyways, tonight I was really hit by a story that Jim shared about a young woman who was sitting in the library with her father as he read her a book. She was an angelically beautiful young woman who had cerebral palsy. He talked about how she sat with her face against her father’s shoulder, enamored as he read to her. By no fault of her own, she can’t express to her father all that she feels in the ways that a typical child would, yet by her father’s actions, it is clear that he adores her and loves to be with her. It’s a beautiful picture and I believe Jim’s point was that the father’s love for his daughter has nothing to do with what the daughter can or cannot do. He related this to the fact that so many people are caught up with trying to “perform” for God instead of loving God and loving others.
I wonder how long I will keep trying to perform for God before I realize that what God really wants is for me to just live life in love with Him. I believe we will bring more of the kingdom of God to this world out of response of living in love then in trying to perform for him. When will I ever realize that there is nothing I can do to make God love me more?
C.S. Lewis expresses it like this in Mere Christianity. There’s a story where a child asks his father for a sixpence to buy his father a gift. The father gives the son the money and is happy with the gift that he gets. But he realizes that he’s not any richer, because he gave the child the money in the first place. It’s a reminder that we can never really “do” anything for God. He has made us, and we are just to live in response to that love, by loving God and loving others. I’m done trying to perform.