“God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” ~1 John 4:9b-10 (NRSV).
We live in a world that reminds us every day how common and sheep-like we are. There are billions on this planet, and millions within our countries of origin. Few of us live in small towns anymore. The educational institutions we went to, also, educated hundreds, if not thousands. Each time we go to buy groceries or see the doctor might perhaps be another reminder of the people we don’t know—those also who don’t know us.
We live in a large world that grows smaller by day, due to global-reducers like the Internet.
This world reminds us more and more that it does not love us; continually we are told again and again, by our experience and observation, that this is a lonely world—certainly without the intimacy of loved ones.
And because we are both God’s-created and sinners, bearing the mark of Adam and Eve, we desire to be loved—we are empty without it.
The world is a reminder of what we are missing. Even though we cannot put our finger on it, we sense that there’s something missing deep within us. None of us is alone in this.
We go about our days, and weeks, and months, and years, looking for things to compensate for this lack. Nothing helps for long. Indeed, those things that promise to help in the short term actually convey us toward disaster; those ‘halcyon’ things meeting sensual desire. How often do people go to a substance to feel good about themselves?
Of course, we will, at least marginally, always feel alone—this side of eternity. (Yes, eternity is the uncompromising and certain end for every human being.) Such loneliness—even the twinkle—is an eternal reminder that we’re not there yet.
What’s missing is the experience of God’s love, which is an original love that came from everlasting.
God’s Love Is No Accident
Such a thing as God’s love is originally intentional—nothing came before it.
This love motivated the creative work—everything we see, feel, touch, and know about, and so many things we don’t know about and can’t possibly be aware of.
Not least of all, the Lord made each of us and fashioned us uniquely. Despite the world’s preponderance to identify us as a number, nothing special, God vehemently disagrees. In a world God created, a realm bent by sin, God’s love is the only true reminder of our worth to him.
We know God’s love is no accident by this: we did not love him and yet he loved us, first, when he sent his Son to vouchsafe our eternal freedom. Such a thought amends loneliness, even for a moment. Such a thought will amend loneliness every time.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.