Posted by: Kara Luker | June 13, 2018

The reckless love of God

After getting back this past weekend from my first cruise ever (which was also my first week ever without phone service or WiFi), I couldn’t wait to meet the 9-day old foster baby of our dear friends and to see them as parents – another first. They were tired, as is to be expected, but clearly smitten. To quote the new foster mom, “She is so totally worth it!”

swaddled baby

This baby girl was removed from a bad situation, with demonstrable neglect before she was even born. She followed a few older siblings into the foster system. Her biological mom has not given her a name. While our friends would love to adopt her and provide a secure home on the forever side of things, there is no way to foresee what the future holds. Will the mom continue on her current path and eventually lose her parental rights? Will she get it together “enough” to get her baby back, but still lack stability and the ability to nurture her? Or will she have a transformation that enables her to be the parent this baby needs?

Most people would say that it is wise in such a circumstance to guard your heart… to care for the baby but not bond too closely, with the clear potential for heartbreak and all. But my friends have decided to be all-in. Whether she is their forever child or not, they believe she is deserving of the selfless, reckless love that will give as freely and bond as tightly as one whose story is securely tied to theirs. Because, no matter the outcome, it really is. Maybe not in the way we tend to see things – with a strong need for a certain kind of payoff – but in the way God does, with His understanding of the powerful, transformative, eternal qualities of love that doesn’t hold back for fear of pain and doesn’t cease growing once planted.

So our friends have given the baby a name. They are taking an abundance of pictures and sharing them in the fashion of proud new parents. They are staring at her for hours on end as if it she is the greatest thing that ever existed (because, of course, she is). And hour by hour, all through the day and night, they are setting aside their needs to meet hers.

Reminds me a whole lot of the way God loves us. And by us, I don’t just mean the people who are going to be happily settled into His care forever more. I mean all of us. The ones who will turn from Him and choose to settle in broken places, lacking stability and nurture. The ones who will openly reject and mock His care, thinking they can do a better job. The ones who won’t realize they are welcome in His home no matter their history. If you think that doesn’t break His heart, you don’t know the heart of a father.

And yet He is all-in with every single one of us, pouring Himself out for us – into us – without regard for the pain it could cause. Because that’s what Love does. If we will let it in, even the tiniest seed, it will change us. We will be tied securely to His story and all the security, rest and joy that come from belonging to a parent who demonstrates – hour by hour, all through the day and night – that kind of selfless, reckless love.


  1. Kara,
    Tim Keller, in his The Prodigal God, makes a convincing, unforgettable case that the real prodigal behavior in the parable of the lost son is not the son’s, but the father’s, and, hence, God’s. It is God’s “recklessly spendthrift”, prodigal love that is the real focus of the parable, not our irresponsible behavior, which only reveals that love to us……… 🙂

    • Absolutely love that Hal! I think it is spot on. Hope all is well with you guys!

  2. Beautifully stated Kara. So filled with awe through it all

    • Thank you Sue. I feel so honored to be in their lives and see God’s story for them unfold. Pretty darn amazing so far!

  3. Good word

    Sent from my iPhone

  4. […] been thinking about my last post. Though I was born into a family that loved me, provided for me and cared for my needs, I never […]

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