God’s Joy

I was brought up and educated to give assent to certain propositions. God is love, for example. You concede “God loves us,” and yet there is this lurking sense that perhaps you aren’t fully part of the “us.” The arms of God reach to embrace, and somehow you feel yourself just outside God’s fingertips.

Then you have no choice but to consider that “God loves me,” yet you spend much of your life unable to shake off what feels like God only embracing you begrudgingly and reluctantly. I suppose, if you insist, God has to love me too. Then who can explain this next moment, when the utter fullness of God rushes in on you — when you completely know the One in whom “you move and live and have your being,” as St. Paul writes. You see, then, that it has been God’s joy to love you all along. And this is completely new.

— Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart, p. 25

[Photo: Meadowlark Gardens, Virginia, April 3, 2012]

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