my roommate leaves all mail that is addressed to me outside my bedroom door. 99% of the time the envelopes enclose useless garbage that is nothing other than an enormous waste of paper. and as a lover of personal snail mail, this trash outside my door usual brings with it a small pinch of disappointment.
this evening was different. instead of a painful bill requiring my money or some outrageous credit card company proclaiming that i am eligible for $5000 i received the best article of mail i have ever received. it was a small pink envelope decorated with the handwriting of a 1st grader that read; "auntie bri". my heart sang - shayla, one of my many precious nieces wrote me a letter! gently i ripped open the seal, trying not to tear into the adorable penmanship. inside i found a priceless work of crayola art, and 2 home-made pictures; all 3 were lovinginly dedicated; "to auntie bri. from shayla".
i have to admit-i broke into tears as i read. pride swelled within. this was the most cherish-able letter of art an auntie could ask for.
but something deeper came forth because of shayla's gift. on one of her home-made pictures she wrote a note that pins absolutely perfectly, how our relationship with christ ought to be lived out. her words were this: "i love you and you love me to" (yeah, there was adorably only one 'o'). this little girl gets it. she fearlessly shouts, "I LOVE YOU! AND YOU LOVE ME!!" there is no doubt in the heart of shayla that her auntie loves her deeply.
so often in our relationship with christ we question whether or not he truly loves us. for some disconnected reason we hold the belief that his love is contingent upon the choices we make, the ways that we live, and the success we receive (or do not receive). but the fact of the matter is god says something different. he breaks open the heavens, edifies our identity as his child, and because of the fact that we are his children he says, "you are my son (daughter) whom i love. with you i am well pleased."