“How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved.” ~Sigmund Freud
I have always considered the idea of teaching as a career, but I remember the day that I definitively made up my mind to pursue it. I worked at a financial institution and was waiting on a man who seemed downtrodden and discouraged. I noticed his hands were dirty from work as he handed me his meager paycheck and wondered to myself: is this how he thought his life would turn out when he was a kid? Did he have dreams but never pursued them because no one ever encouraged him to? I decided then and there that I wanted to be that person that encourages, that helps children know their value.
I still have that desire to encourage; however, as my relationship with God has deepened, so has the desire. It has moved past simply wanting to encourage children to pursue their dreams and helping them discover their value to wanting all people–both big and small, young and old, believer and nonbeliever–to know that they are loved by their Creator and that they have immeasurable value and an identity in Him. I want them to know that God doesn’t just love the world in general, He loves each of them, deeply and eternally. I want them to know His love has no limits and isn’t parceled out according to our merits or value as the world (or as we) see it–that He has more than enough affection for each and every person and loves them past their faults, failures, and dirt. And He loves every person to the point that He didn’t want to leave us in our sin, so He sent His son to pay our debt so that we could have the hope of eternity with Him.
There are people across the far reaches of this planet, people we cross paths with every day in our own communities that are just aching to know that they are seen, that they matter, and they are starving for the love of God. Oftentimes, when I find myself people watching (yeah, I admit it…I do that from time to time, but I try not to be creepy about it), I wonder: do they know they are loved? And lately I’ve been asking myself: what are you going to do about it? I am part of the body of Christ, and it is the responsibility of the body of Christ to tell (in words and actions) the people of this world that they are loved, that they have purpose, that they have hope, that they have a Savior. If the we as the church don’t tell them, who will?
If you are reading this, and you doubt that God really and truly loves you, please let me encourage you: you are loved. He knows you, even down to how many hairs cover your head (Matthew 10:30). There is absolutely nothing you can do to remove His love from you (Romans 8:35), even if you deny or reject it; He’s always loved you and always will (Jeremiah 31:3). All you have to do is receive that love and allow it to transform you into who He created you to be.