Perhaps sighs are the overflows of emptiness inside.
What’s terrifying is that I once prayed for You to show me how to love like You, but now I am not so sure. I’m still so evil that I want to put ‘being a sinner’ as a valid excuse not to love. So that I can ‘comfortably hate’.
I know that hate is not the opposite of love – negligence is. Ignorance may not be a fault, but ignoring is.
You never told me to sponsor a disadvantaged family somewhere on the other side of the Earth. You never commanded me to sacrifice my last year of university and go preach the gospel in some unknown island. But often, You tell me to love, even the most unlovable, starting with those around me. Starting with someone as close as my family.
Thus, countless sighs escape my inside after every argument I have with my sister. Sometimes I lack the desire to go further than I want to, to even pray for You to help me to forgive and love her more. Sometimes I just want to ignore voices of my conscious and whispers of Your encouragements so that I can just ‘comfortably hate’.
So every time I am reminded of the request that Jesus made to You as He was nailed on that cross, with every part of His flesh screaming in blood and sweat and pain – “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke chapter 23 verse 35) – shoot me into silence. In this hour, where He had all the righteous reasons to completely hate and curse the sinful men, He blessed and loved.
It seems too good to be true. If this was what love is, there is no such thing in this Earth. I want to ignore it with words such as “He was son of God, and is God, so of course this is possible”, but I know I can’t. As perfectly as He was God, He was perfectly man.
He felt every inch of His thorn-crown drilling inside His skull. He felt every stare, every jeer, every spit and punch on His face, every finger mocking His nakedness. He saw all His disciples leaving, He saw His beloved mother crying, He saw the cross He was to die on and the nails that would stick in between the bones of His wrists. He felt His Father leaving Him in His loneliest hour, as He became the epitome of the sins of this world.
He cried “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (Matthew chapter 27 verse 46), and He sighed “It is finished” (John chapter 19 verse 30).
Such is the love You displayed, and such is the love You give me to this day. Every breath I take is Your grace, as You have loved me and saved me.
This, oh, this is the reason I cannot ‘comfortably hate’ or ‘ignore my ignorance’. God, the epitome and definition of love, is my Father, and Christ the Saviour is my Messiah, so how can I? How can I compare the difficult times some people give me to Christ’s loneliest hour? How can I ignore those – near and far – unaware of such great Truth and News?
But because You know my limits and my failures, You are ever so patient with me. You love me despite all my deepest hates and coldest ignores, because You died for me when I was still a sinner (Romans chapter 5 verse 8). You don’t guilt-trip me with the perfect love displayed by Christ or punish me for my lack of desire.
You simply remind me of Your great love You so perfectly showed through Your Son. In my most bitter-hearted, cold-minded times, Jesus comes and holds my heart with His once nail-driven hands. Slowly, I melt into repentance and You teach me, again and again, what and who Love is, patiently working in me to share and live this Love. Filling my emptiness with Your presence, You recreate my heart into a shape of joy.
Perhaps laughs are the overflows of Love inside.
Sunny is a media student, a dreamer, a rider with a steady seatbelt in the roller coaster of her Christian life. You can easily find her lost in books, writing in her journal, crafting, sharing her awes in God and sneaking one too many chocolates in her mouth.