Posted by: karanoel | September 28, 2020

Do you love me?

“When you love someone, truly love them, you lay your heart open to them.” Sherrilyn Kenyon

I was sitting on the kitchen floor with Sunny the other day, petting her floppy mane and teasing her with a toy, when I was flooded with a realization of my love for her. I knew I’d been starting to bond, but was surprised by how vulnerable I felt. With it came a profound desire to be loved by her. Not for what I do for her – like giving her a spoon of peanut butter when I brush her or throwing her rubber chicken time after time in the backyard, but because she loves me.

I often tell her I love her, but this time I asked her, “Do you love me too?” She didn’t answer, but my guess is that she is learning to love me. And truth be told, I’m still learning to love her too. I keenly remember the regret I felt about her purchase when, according to my journal, I considered her “an unnegotiable constant that magnifies all my other difficulties.” And yet here, after only a few months of showing up to care for her, I find this love and desire in my heart. And I’m pretty sure that even if she never answers my question with a clear “yes,” I’ll keep showing up and pouring myself out for her.

You guys, this made me think of God’s love for us. He didn’t have to grow into it like I’ve had to with Sunny, because it was pure and perfect and complete from the beginning of creation and it could never be anything different because it’s His very nature. He has cared for us relentlessly, showing up day after day and hour after hour, no matter what behaviors or difficulties we bring, always telling us – and showing us – how much He loves us. How vulnerable that must feel; how exposed His heart is. He has laid it open to us, willing to be hurt if we don’t return it.

I picture Him asking, “Do you love me too?” Some might give a quick, biting “no.” Some might give an exuberant “yes.” But I think that most of us are learning to love Him. Not just for what He gives us or what He does for us, but because in that tender, faithful care, we come see the beauty of who He is. And more than any blessing, we just want to be with Him.


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