yesterday i attended a beautiful and extremely moving service @ st. andrews presbyterian church in marin city. it's a church i've been meaning to visit for several years and i'm sorry i waited so long. my friend was on staff there and it was her last sunday and i went to hear her preach and to support her as she said goodbye. she was brilliant. her sermon was on the love of God, but her texts were the David & Bathsheba story and Ephesians 3:14 - 21. she did a beautiful job of communicating how much God loves us using the story of a boy with cp whose father acts as his body and helps him compete in triathalons. it was such a beautiful and moving image on a number of levels.
first, it was so beautiful to see my friend do what she was designed to do. she loves the word of God more than anyone i know and communicates its truth in a powerful and profound way.
second, the close of her sermon was a video of ricky, the boy with cp, being pushed through a triathalon to the song "i know my redeemer lives." not a dry eye in the house. it was a great visual and a powerful tool.
finally, as the sermon was going on, i saw an illustration of God loving us in the man right in front of me as he dealt with his son. the boy looked to be about 5 years old. he was crying and upset and his father took him on his lap and tried to comfort him. the boy resisted at first, pushing his father away and punching him with his tiny, ineffectual fists. the father ignored the boys protests and continued to cradle him in his arms, and whisper to him that he loved him. the boy pushed him away, crying "stop looking at me" but the father never stopped. finally the boy relaxed in the arms of his father and allowed himself to be held and comforted. when he had been soothed, he climbed down from his father's lap and left to play with his friend. he would periodically return for a refill.
basically, that speaks for itself. we push God away for many reasons - we feel unworthy or ashamed or inadequate. but God continues to cradle us and parent us lovingly until we relax into God's arms and allow ourselves to be comforted. then, we have the strength to function in the world and are always welcome to return.
it was a good day.