Jennifer Camp, co-founder of Gather Ministries, and author of Loop, grew up in the middle of an almond orchard in Northern California and now lives in the busy Bay Area with her husband and three kids. A former high school English teacher, she loves to write, but she especially loves to encourage people to seek and live out the truth of their story, their identity in Christ. You can find her writing at her blog, Jennifer J. Camp .You can connect with Jennifer on both Facebook and Twitter. She would love to have you join her there.
I don’t regularly practice the art of writing love letters. But I like the idea of it–a beloved sharing his or her heart with the one they love. I write love letters to my children a few times a year, a note in a lunchbox, a Valentine on construction paper, a letter tucked under a pillow before I leave on a trip. And Justin gets them from me, too. In texts, and emails, and letters on vanilla linen paper.
But why do love letters have to be just words? They don’t, do they? And it gives me an idea. What if we were to write a love letter to God? Does the idea seems rather silly? After all, God doesn’t need a bunch of words from us, I think. But, then again, don’t you think he would love it, too?
But this is what I wonder: these love letters don’t necessarily have to be missives–with words, with ideas formed in sentences and fully-formed thoughts, do they? After all, it is our hearts God is after, right?
So, here’s the question: if God were to define what it looks like for us, his daughters, to write him a love letter, what would it look like?
We know he wants our worship. And there are so many ways each of us, uniquely, get to worship Him.
Maybe it’s by thinking of him–of his goodness, his majesty, his love.
Or singing. Or creating art. Or dancing. Or loving–yes, always loving–the people around us.
Couldn’t the unique way we each worship God be the love letter he wants?
So, I asked him: Father, what does it take for us to write a love letter to You? What does it look like? How do we begin? What does this letter contain?
And this is what I heard him say:
“My darlings, love letters to Me are tokens of your heart, your hearts’ response to my love for you. The problem is that I desire more than tokens. A full heart spilling over with love for Me is what I am after. In the sunshine and in the rain, I pour myself into You. When you are downcast and when your heart rises to Me, I am the one who is solid, the one whom you can trust. Swirls of words on a page are lovely to me, your heart expressed in words. But the language of your love is not expressed in words on a page. The language you write in is your heart’s response to Me. So how do you respond?
First, do you see what My love is for you? How I adore you, how my gaze rests on you? Do you know your presence with Me thrills Me, brings Me joy? Do you know your nearness to Me unites us, and my love for you is nothing you can sever? You can’t change it, child. No matter what you do or where you go.
I know how you feel, getting it ‘right’, finding the right words, the right response to Me. What do I want most? Your trust in Me. I see you, child, and I long for you to see Me, how I look on you. My eyes give Me away. I cannot hide My love for you. It is something I cannot contain. You bring Me joy and laughter and delight. I love to watch you, to see where you go. I love when you turn to Me, with open arms, heart outstretched, open, trusting, looking for Me in you. Does it take long to find Me, when you look, sweet one? It doesn’t take long, does it?
Heed my voice, the voice that sings over you, caresses your soul, brings nourishment and quiet and challenge and excitement. I desire you like nothing else. To be desired: I have made you for that, to be desired, to be wanted, to be loved. Love Me, child. Abide there. Stay there. Rest there. Begin there.
A love letter is your heart reaching for Me, unabashedly, unhesitatingly, unapologetically, unashamedly, with confidence and excitement, glee and zeal and joy.Expectation. It is looking outside yourself and going where I go, when I desire to go, in you. It is using my hands that I have given you to bring love, tenderness, mercy, healing, hope. It is to use your eyes to look on beauty, seek out beauty, in the magnificent and the small, the bright places and the dark.Let me show you Light, in the darkness, child. That, especially, is where my Light will shine, your love letter to Me.
Yes, in the dark places of your heart, let me shine there, too. First, there is no darkness in you when I am in you–so let Me show you where the Light is, where the Light is in you. In the places you thought were dark, let Me bring My Light. It is bright, here, child, with Me in you. Let me illuminate all of you, daughter. Let my Light shine so there is no darkness. Hold nothing back from Me–the love letters of your heart. There it is, the not holding back, not withholding yourself, trusting Me fully, letting the Light go everywhere in you so there is no more darkness. Opening your heart to my Light is your heart’s true response to Me, not false, not partway, but full–a full response. I know no other.
I cannot hold back my love from You, and I will help you not hold back your love to Me. Let me help you love Me. Your trusting Me with that is a love letter to Me. And there, once Light has come and darkness has fled, and trust is the rock that grounds you and equips you to stand, my love will be received by you and spill over so you, also, will not be able to contain it. And you won’t ask Me, ‘how do I write a love letter to You?’ You are the love letter. Receive my love for you and the letter from you is already sent back to Me.”
I want to do this. I want to be a love letter to God. Do you? Are you with me?
This post appeared originally at GatherMinistires.com