The first time Aubrey went on an Easter egg hunt, she found five eggs. Well really I found them, which was quite an accomplishment given all the four-year-old boys with Spiderman-like vision. Not only could they spot an egg ten yards away, they could thrust their entire torso into a prickly bush to get it. Me, not so much.
At the end of the hunt, everybody sat down to eat their candy. I couldn’t help but glance at the overflowing buckets around me. With a sigh, I began to pop open Aubrey’s eggs. Two of them were empty. She ate her candy in roughly three seconds and looked around. I wondered if she realized what a losing team we made. I can still see her wearing her little pink chick shirt, watching everybody else eat their candy, clutching an empty yellow basket in her fist.
I’ve never loved her more.
Any parent will tell you that we love our children unconditionally. Like the rope that tethers a boat to shore, our love braves calm and stormy weather. But there’s something about seeing a child in a moment of vulnerability that elicits special affection. Ask any parent how they felt the first time they watched their child be rejected by peers, and you’ll glimpse the emotion. It’s loyalty and love, compassion and tenderness all mixed together. And now as Easter approaches a single thought keeps running through my mind.
I wonder if God sees me in my vulnerable moments, and feels the same way toward me as I felt toward Aubrey. I wonder if His heart is touched in a special way when I’m the child with the empty basket. The child who’s hurting. The child who’s failed, or lost, or been rejected.
Because God is omniscient, I sometimes picture Him unaffected by the sorrows of my life. I assume He’s always calm, cool, and collected—reminding me that He has a plan, so why don’t I quit my sniffling and get on with it? But the Bible reveals a very different God, One who meets His children intimately and passionately in their lowest moments. The God of the Bible is One who longed to gather His wayward children into His arms as a hen gathers her chicks (Luke 13:34). He is the God whose compassion overflowed at the very thought of giving up on faithless Israel (Hosea 11:8). The God who saw Hagar. The God who communed with Job. The God who wrestled with Jacob. Even when it was their own sin that put them in the pit, God met them where they were.
I love that about Him.
I love that the God of the Universe doesn’t watch us from afar, but gets His hands dirty in the messy reality of our lives. I love that He wrestles us until we no longer resist Him, but cling to Him and desperately beg for His blessing. Is there any other god in the history of world religions who would condescend to such a level? Who would allow Himself to be so intimately involved, so emotionally affected, by the lives and hearts of humans? And yet the God of the Bible goes even further–not only meeting us where we are, but becoming one of us. Can you just imagine God Almighty as a baby? The God of the Universe sitting in His own poop, waiting for someone to come clean Him up? It’s baffling! Could He have taken any form more vulnerable? More utterly defenseless? More humble?
And to think I imagine Him unaffected by the sorrows of my life. Unable to relate.
He literally came down from Heaven and walked in the same human flesh I now walk in. Only He did it perfectly, and then died a gruesome death–enduring the wrath I deserved–in order to rescue me. You know what I think? I think the maternal love I feel for my children in their empty-Easter-egg-basket moments doesn’t hold a candle to the depth of emotion He feels for us.
And I love that about Him.
I worship that about Him.