the exceptional thing about god's love, a dedication*

I dedicate this post to those in our Mormon community who may feel unloved or disenfranchised, especially my friends and family who identify as LGBT. We are frail and broken creatures working towards Zion one softened heart at a time. I am confident that the mountains sing and the trees clap for each of us as we journey on.

 Vincent Van Gogh,  Mountainous Landscape Behind Saint-Paul Hospital , 1889 (Image courtesy of  Web Gallery of Art

Vincent Van Gogh, Mountainous Landscape Behind Saint-Paul Hospital, 1889 (Image courtesy of Web Gallery of Art

The exceptional thing about God's love is that it is without exception. 

I look at Ezra's face this morning, his hair askew and sleep still settled in the corners of his eyes, and a knowing rattles my heart. There is nothing Ezra could do that would diminish the intensity of my love for him. My love is a mountain unto itself, immovable and untethered to his agency. The Alpha and Omega of love, really. And in the muted light of the morning, I begin to understand, in a very small way, the nature of God's love. Its generous depth. Its infinite breadth. Its magnanimous hue. 

I carry that knowledge around for the rest of the day--the expansive, perennial nature of God's love for me, His child--and it is a superpower. It is an invincibility cloak that protects me from pity (for self and others). It is a truth shard that glitters gold in my pocket. It is a burst of air beneath each heel, lifting my feet and quickening my step as I move through the world. There is no telling how far this knowledge can ferry me on its gilded wings. I shout "Amen!" and "Hallelujah!" as I am transported to a life that is both holier and happier. 

All the same, I know that I am not special. Ezra is not special. None of us are special in this regard. God's love is as constant and democratic as the air we breath. Available and inevitable for

every.

single.

one.

of.

us.

Without exception.

God can't help Himself.

We are His. 

It took the titanic earthquake of motherhood for me to begin to understand the nature of this immovable, ever stable love. How any of us come to this knowledge is a journey as varied as the bodies we inhabit. The more rigorous journey, perhaps, is the one that follows wherein God asks us to spread the good news of His love to others. Our charge, as I see it, is to tell our sons and our daughters, our neighbors and our naysayers, our endeared and our enemies, "It is your destiny to be loved without exception." Without exception. 

How can this be? 

"God can't help Himself. You are His." 

Once the knowledge of His divine love has quieted the deafening roar of our monstrous egos, we will have no choice but to bury our rickety weapons of war, our rusted rebellions, and our ramshackle fears deep into the soil of repentance, a fertile ground from which empathy, inclusion, and Christ-like compassion (for self and others) can grow. 

And so we, the fractured and the faithful, journey on towards a knowledge of God's exceptional love, buoyed by Isaiah's celebratory words: 

"For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."  --Isaiah 55:12

Of this I testify. Amen. And hallelujah.