“Baby steps my child,
To you it may be nothing
But you make daddy proud
Your weakness is only my strength
I hear your questions
But I’m closer than you think
I promise, I promise
Oh I won’t let go, I wont let go
I see you right where you are
I’m holding on to your heart!
You’ve been here all this time
Tell me where have I been looking
Cause you weren’t hard to find
Mercy opened up my eyes
I’m loosing my religion to be loved like a child
I promise, I promise”
-Dante Bowe, “Real Thing”
This amazing song is a small conversation between God and me/you/us. The entire first two stanzas are incredibly powerful, but this chorus here is something that stands out both in Gods initial declaration to us, and in our response to him. I wanted to write about the perspective of God talking to us!
Its an amazing radical thought that a deity, a powerful God, a being could choose to hold onto us so tightly! An act of grace and love towards his children. He is screaming that “I wont let go!” No matter where we are in life, where we have been, where we are going… he is going to hold on to us! He is going to be there, walking with us even when we feel like he couldn’t be farther away! He SEES us! He sees the ones who feel invisible, he sees the ones who are outcasts, that have been shunned, turned away, belittled, shamed, degraded and hated.
The one that stands above all others is SHAME! Shame is scary powerful when it comes to how we see ourselves and treat ourselves, let alone how we treat and handle the world around us. I know shame well, like its my next door neighbor Dave… or was it Phil…. Chris?… never mind, like the back of my hand!! It sucks and it kills more opportunities for joy and freedom than I dare to list here. Shame pulls us away from community, it pulls us away from loved ones, it pulls us down a hole of self hatred, self loathing and despicable self talk. Shame (in my opinion) is the top cause of people turning away from their faith, and the top cause of depression and suicide especially in men.
The second line of that chorus states that we are seen, that we have value that even in our shame we are not invisible! The VERY next line states that we are LOVED! “I’m holding on to your heart. I am holding on to YOU. I am loving you as you are! I care about you right now! Your shame holds no barrier on the love I have for you.” It breaks my heart when I hear it! Especially in my darkest hours, the thought that I am loved and cared for despite my mistakes can feel damn near impossible. But the fact remains, there is NOTHING you can do that would make him stop loving you. Unconditional love is Gods M.O. He is the best at it. He wrote the book on it! You are loved, you are NOT your shame, you have a heavenly Father that wants you to come back to him! His love never left you, will never leave you, you cannot outrun the love of God… trust me I’ve tried. Find peace in this, accept the grace that is his heart!
Grace and Peace.