I grabbed fingerfuls of salt scattering them into the depths of my stockpot watching the stove turn orange with heat. I listened while she extolled the events of the day, feeling my frustration rise with each sentence.
“He was so mean to her mom. And this isn’t the first time, this is a regular thing with him. He messages other girls and talks to them behind her back. He makes her feel terrible. He made her cry, again. I looked her straight in the face and wiped her tears away. I asked her, “Don’t you know, you are worth more than this.”
I sighed deep within myself feeling all the feelings that come with being a woman who can smell the fire before the matches are lit.
Hours before I had a similar conversation with a woman. Soft spoken, with posture timid she conveyed a circumstance that I would never have known from just watching. The man who claims to love her, belittles her, ignores her, threatens her, keeps secrets from her, and dangles eviction in front of her as though he’s something to lose. Her family offers little help. There are few safe places in her world.
I watched as our friend wiped tears from her face and I told her, “God made you for more than this.”
I don’t know when we started accepting this watered-down version of love that Satan created as truth, this belief that we deserve a less than kind of love because we are a less than kind of person.
But it’s a lie.
You don’t have to settle for that nonsense. You don’t have to accept a less than kind of love because Jesus never loved you with a less than kind of love.
You were always first rate to him, always his favorite, always the one he took the cross for. You were the one he watched God design and said, “That’s my girl.”
Don’t buy the line that Satan’s keeps throwing your way that somehow you deserve to be treated as less than loved, less than precious, less than equal or less than valued.
You have the right to remember who loves you best every time that happens. You have the right to hold his love within your heart every day until you see him face to face. And then, he’ll tell you for himself exactly why he loves you with a more than kind of love.
More than himself.
More than his earthly family.
More than the heaven he resided in.
More than the body he gave up.
He always, from the second you became a thought, loved you with a more than kind of love.
And you have the right to expect others to love you in the same way.
“A new command I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
And Jesus loved well.
Like the best.
Our Jesus entered the womb of an unwed girl to remind us, all the women that would ever take a breath, that we were the chosen vessel from which he came.
He knelt to write in the dirt while protecting a woman accused of things my daddy won’t say out loud but he never condemned her, he never used her for political gain the way her accusers intended.
He had compassion on the sick woman who touched the hem of his coat. No chastisement. No berating. He healed her body and commended her faith because his love for her could do no less.
He disregarded society’s religious divisions when he met with the Samaritan women and offered her living water and the chance to be an evangelist to a village that had cast her off.
As he laying dying on the cross he provided for his mother knowing that in her society to be without a son was to be without life.
Jesus did all these things for one simple reason; he loved people.
Jesus didn’t treat people as if they were pawns to be traded for the next best thing to come along. He didn’t abuse his power and attempt to control the way others responded to him. He didn’t threaten violence or invoke the silent treatment like a petulant child. He didn’t abandon people when things got messy or inconvenient.
Jesus did not make people cry just because he held the power to do so.
The kind of love Jesus gave to people didn’t leave marks on their bodies it left marks on his.
He was, is, and forever remains our standard of love.
You can rest in the knowledge that when others fail to love you well, Christ never will. His adoration for you will not dim. His loyalty will not stray. His love for you will always be undefinable in human terms because he is not fully human. Part God, part man loving you completely, fully, and without regret.
This is what it means to be loved with a more than kind of love.
And this, this is what you were made for.