The other day I was going through piles of clutter that has accumulated over the years, trying to purge more of the bullying junk that threatens to overtake our home. As I was looking through a particular pile of what seemed to be scrap paper, I saw that it was actually tiny torn pieces of construction paper that had stick-figure drawings on them.
"I love you, Mommy & Daddy!" was written on one of the cards Hope made. Hope must have been around six at the time of it's creation. The next card in the pile I found was a line drawing of her and her twin brother Sage holding hands.
I called Hope over to show her the treasure I found, and Sage darted over to see it too. When he saw the picture, he assumed the position on the card and sat by Hope, taking her hand.
Now, you need to understand that Sage and Hope are 2 weeks shy of being 12 year old twins. Hope does not appreciate her brothers affections one bit. She does not want him to touch her, sit near her, breathe on her... She doesn't want him to look at her, write notes to her or talk to her.
So when Sage reached over to hold her hand as was drawn, Hope was filled with disgust, and bolts up shouting, "Get away from me, Sage!"
But he doesn't budge. This is his torture of choice for his sister: gushing admiration.
- He sits beside her, at every chance.
- He tells her he loves her, constantly.
- He draws, "Sage Loves Hope!" on notebooks and shows her his "work".
- He gives full disclosure of his intent to "Kiss" her.
Certain he has cooties, she wishes he was mean like all her friends brothers, and that he would leave her alone!
Sage's pursuit of Hope is exactly like Jesus's pursuit of us: relentless, persistent, not easily swayed.
Irritation toward Him by His children does not separate us from His love; He presses on.
I recently read Jennifer Leigh Allison's new book, Confessions of a Rambunctious Kid: a quest for self-discovery and the meaning of life. Her life story illustrates God's pursuit of us beautifully.
She grew up in the 70's and 80's, and her undiagnosed Sensory Processing Disorder caused her to be misunderstood more often than not. She ended up addicted to drugs and alcohol to escape her raging emotions and the turmoil in her body. She wanted nothing to do with God, despite her Christian upbringing. But God wanted something to do with her. He pursued her relentlessly while her devoted mom fervently prayed for God to reach her, and for her to find Him.
Jennifer recalls many instance when God strategically intervened in her life, clearly pursuing her to win her heart and save her life.
She says, "God, why would you want to give me what I don't deserve? If you're so great, why do you pursue ME of all people? I am nothing, nobody. I have squandered my life and lived in completed defiance. I have broken every promise I made to you. I disobeyed you and my parents over and over and over again. I'm broken, worthless, used, abused, filthy, and impure. Don't you know what's happened to me? Don't you know what I've done? What would the God of the universe want from little ole messed up me?
Then, like a soft, warm blanket taken right out of the dryer, I felt God's incredible love come over me. He said, "I have plans for you." (p177)
Jennifer's story will bring you to tears as you laugh with her as well as when you cry with her. Her book is a beautiful testimony of God's passionate, unrelenting love for us.
To connect with Jennifer, you can find her at her website: http://jenniferleighallison.com
or on Facebook by clicking here: Rambunctious Kid