Lectionary readings for today:
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I remembered when the nurse placed my daughter on my chest for the first time. I was amazed at her muscadine eyes, paper-thin fingernails, wrinkled brow, and heart-shaped chin. A flood of emotions engulfed me and I knew at that moment that my love for her would not be dependent on any sort of accomplishments that she achieved, awards that she won, or belief that she fostered. With the weight of a mere six pounds of flesh, I knew that my life was altered and I would love her no matter what she did.
I think about that moment in my greatest frustrations. I’m a people pleaser by nature and I work diligently to gain love. But at the end of the day, when I’ve figured out that I’ve worked on the wrong thing or I’ve still let someone down, I have to come to terms with the fact that trying so hard to gain acceptance is an exhausting way to live.
That’s when I turn Romans over in my head. These have been like a compass for me. I have them memorized and I turn to them when I feel lost in my fatigue. I remind myself that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. And I often imagine myself, being embraced by God–a God who simply smiles when smelling the top of my head, a God who will love me, no matter what I do.
Carol Howard Merritt