This violent love

And I will put enmity between you [the serpent] and the woman [Eve],
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head, and you will strike his heal - Genesis 3:15

And, thus, the love of God for me, his fallen creature, is shown: in conflict and in violence. The heart of the Gospel, the first proclamation of God's rescuing me from the consequences of my sin is revealed as one that will do violence. I was once a child of the serpent; a child of the Devil. But God loved me too much to allow me to occupy a place at the serpent's table and began his assault. His love did so offend me that I bristled at it. I tried to ignore it. How dare he tell me what to do? He (is he really even a "he" anyway?) this "god" is going to tell me that the way I am living my life is so wrong? Who have I hurt? What have I stolen? Who have I killed? He seems to want to put me on the same plane as that guy I know who cheated on his wife or that other person on the news who shot up a school yard. Surely I am not as bad as they are! I go to church, I know the Bible, I stand up for people who are being bullied, I don't cheat, lie, or steal. And if I do I am quick to offer an apology and restitution. Surely I am not going to hell!

But I was. I was all of that and more and I was as hell bound to be separated from God forever as anyone else. God's love did violence against my sin, it did violence against my will, and told me that I could choose my way, but I could not choose my destination. 

But his love never, never, never did violence against me. 

To be sure the choices I was making and the path that I had chosen were deemed wanting by him so much so that he erected a wall and obstacles in my path. He told me "no" when I so desperately wanted a "yes". He said "no further" when I knew that I could handle the consequences of my actions. Yet, in so doing, he was preserving my life.

He sought me. He warned me. He gave me glimpses of himself in my parents, the church, the Bible, and my siblings. He wanted better for me. He simply loved me.

This violent love is what captured my heart. Only after he made me miserable of course. The collision of the misery and emptiness of my selling out to sin he artfully arranged for me. I will forever be thankful of the love that would not leave me to drink from the cup of my rebellion against him manifest in the choices that I was making. He is not done doing violence because I am not done sinning. Such is his love for me.

May my love do violence against the sin of others. May my love embrace another as completely as that. 


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