The Invitation To Love

Standing in the brightly lit kitchen, the young woman wears flannel pjs and an oversized sweatshirt. She cradles a steaming cup of coffee in her hands. Glancing at the calendar hanging on the fridge a familiar knot of dread hit her stomach. February 14th. Valentine’s Day. She wrings her hands. Her heart is entangled with memories of pain, long-nights of loneliness, and past-times filled with bitterness. The day of love used to be one of her favorite holidays until it was horribly shattered by unmet expectations and a broken heart.

The sound of the mailman’s truck tires squealing interrupts her trip down the not so good memory lane. The truck comes to a halt and the mailman dressed in his blue khakis and matching polo jumps out of his truck. After hearing the mailman’s door close she places her coffee on the kitchen table and makes her way to her mailbox.

Her thin hands grasp the handle of the box releasing it’s rusted door. Glancing inside, she sees all of the envelopes organized in a neat pile resting against the side of the box. She flips through her normal bills and newspaper ads. But at the very back a plain envelope emerges. It bears no addresses. Her name is the only words scribbled on it. She was intrigued. She closed the mailbox door and with slow steps made her way back to her home, her haven.

Sitting at the kitchen table, her fingers fumble to tear the the glued flap. Curious, she sees that inside there sits a letter with a red seal. She takes the folds and gingerly opens the note. After blinking a few times to focus she starts to read.

My Beloved,

My name is the Alpha, the Omega, The Beginning and The End. Many call me Father, Comforter, Sustainer. However, this is what I want you to know about me. I am your Creator, your Friend. I know everything about you. When you laugh, the skin around your hazel eyes crinkle. You bear a battle scar on your left knee from a brave attempt on a bike without training wheels. You rise with the sun because you enjoy the crisp, cool air of the morning. I know that on Sundays you always order Chinese takeout because cooking just isn’t something you want to do on your day off. I understand that the man who promised to be your everything, to help you, to love you, to encourage you walked away from you after 1 year and destroyed your heart.

I know that you fear love. Valentine’s Day is the day that you wish would end as soon as it began. The word love reeks strongly of pain and betrayal. You relied on the world’s promise that love would make you happy, but you encountered the world’s actual reality, fleeting pleasures and disappointments. How many times have you been betrayed by your feelings? You took another drink. You pursued the relationship that you knew would break your heart. You took the pills. You grabbed the dessert. You betrayed yourself. Again.

In the moment, the voices telling you it would alleviate the pain, that no one would know, were soft and comforting. It didn’t matter what the ramifications were because it was about you. How you felt. It promised peace. It promised happiness. It drowned out the voices of reason and erased pictures of previous screw-ups and aches. You had good intentions, you put up the walls, the boundaries, yet the desires and longings continue to grow and take root.

I know you are sick and tired of the emptiness that rages on in your soul. So this is my invitation to you. I want to invite you into a love that casts out that fear, pain, and betrayal. I offer to you true and faithful love. How can I do this? Well, it’s not a matter of can, but  that I have. I have given you my greatest gift of love. My Son. His name is Jesus and he went through all pain, all hurt, all disappointment, all sorts of betrayal so that you could have true love. He died. Taking away your pain, your hurt, your disappointment and most importantly your sin. Like the red seal you broke to open this letter, his blood was shed to open, to invite you into a relationship with me. Because without Him, you can’t experience true love. All I ask is that you believe that I love you, confess the sin that ravages your heart, and turn away from the world’s clutches and seek to know what I love. All I ask is that you accept my invitation to love. Unlike the world, it doesn’t require you to be perfect. It doesn’t require you to give me payment. It doesn’t require you to try harder, to be better. It requires you to love others, to trust that my love stands sure because every word of mine proves true. It may take time to realize this, but I want you. I want your heart to be restored and to be loved.

So, on this Valentine’s Day and every day to follow. Will you be mine?

In Perfect Love,

God

The tears flowed unashamedly on her porcelain cheeks. Memories flashed across her brain. Snapshots of arguments, of lonely nights, of days filled with tears began to crowd her thoughts. Deep inside she knew that what she was running after had been things, people to satisfy her love-starved heart. It was a never-ending track of disappointments and burnt out hope. Maybe this was her road to freedom.

As her fingers smoothed the creases of the pristine white letter, she knew she had a choice to make.