February 4, 2010

Hate Me

I'm writing over at Exemplify Online today. Here's a preview. I hope you  join me there.

While visiting my sister recently, I headed out for a morning walk but grabbed her iPod instead of mine. It turned out to be a good mistake as I enjoyed listening to a new mix of music. A song came on that I’d heard before but hadn’t paid much attention to. The lyrics, mingled with my solitude and vacation-relaxed state of mind, touched my heart in a deeply profound way.

The song, Hate Me by Blue October, tells the heartbreaking tale of a mother’s love for her addicted son—despite the incredible pain he’s caused her through the years. The recently sober son, overwhelmed with self-loathing and filled with guilt for his past mistakes, sees himself as nothing but a source of pain to his mother.

He’s so unworthy and such a mess. Her love torments him. He pleads that she’s better off without him. If only she’d hate him. And forget about him. And walk away. He might find a scrap of peace, and so might she.

But the son doesn’t realize that no matter how far way he goes away or how much he hurts her, she’ll never stop loving him. Not because he deserves it, just because he is who he is—her son, her baby boy. And for her, that is enough.  

Love so enduring.

It’s a lot like the way God loves us. As much as we don’t deserve it, God loves us with an everlasting love regardless of who we are and what we’ve done (for better or worse). But we are a mess. Our world is a mess. There is so much pain and brokenness and addiction. There are so many folks, like the son in the song, who believe they’ve stepped too far outside the boundaries of forgiveness. That there’s no coming home. Or hope.  This might be you.

We’re all unworthy. Every. Single. One of us. But God loves us anyway. In fact, He loves us so much He sent His son not to condemn us but to show us the way back to Him. We can run away. We can screw up everything. We can resist and deny. But through it all Jesus stands at the door of our hearts waiting for us to invite Him in. (Revelation 3:20) Not because we deserve it, but because we are His. And that is enough.

Grace so amazing.

As Christians we need to first believe this message ourselves. To take it in to the marrow of our bones. And then we must go out into the broken, messed up world and tell others the Good News. To offer hope to the hopeless. Love to the unloveable. And light to the darkness.

We must do this.

“…the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes…and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” (Isaiah 61:1, 3)


Peggy said...

Dear Kelli....
I'm leaving my comment here, because I want to.
Can't imagine why you feel that your writing goes empty sometimes. This is such the most beautiful, full of grace post I've ever read.
Thank you so very much for continuing with this gift that God has given you in your writings.
Blessings and Love....Peggy

Sue J. said...

Powerful lyric. 'Hate' is being said a little too often by somebody here, and the range of emotions between children and parents runs the gamut. I understand God's amazing love a lot more as I lean on Him to continue demonstrating it with my own.

I used to think grace was such a simple concept. It's so big and so integral to our relationship with God. How can we go out and spread the Word without understanding grace? Unconditional love?

Vivid pictures and strong words--thanks, Kelli!