He’s very fond of you

Did you ever try to “define” love? I don’t even mean the 15-or-so definitions that Webster’s gives; I mean understanding how loving relationships work. I’m personally convinced that humans are capable of functioning on three levels–physical, mental, and spiritual–and of course our expression of love may have attributes from all three levels. Much of the reason our relationships falter is because, although we get the physical and mental part, we ignore the spiritual component. I may give you a hug, and choose you as a friend, but what you really want is a relationship that goes beyond what I might think or do. How many times Jesus stretched our concept of love, by asking us to love the unlovable, to love in ways we had not imagined, to love as he does.

Brennan Manning tells the story of an Irish priest who, on a walking tour of a rural parish, sees an old peasant kneeling by the side of the road, praying. Impressed, the priest says to the man, “You must be very close to God.” The peasant looks up from his prayers, thinks a moment, and then smiles, “Yes, he’s very fond of me.”

I like that story so much (and have repeated it often) because it reminds me of the nature of God’s love for us. Think about it. It’s obviously not based on looks, or performance. Not even faithfulness or worthiness. He chooses to love us fully, and without reservation–he’s even willing to lay down his life for us–all because he considers each of us lovable. He’s very fond of you.

So when I tell you that I love you, or give you a hug when we meet, or even when I type a ♥ in your facebook status, there’s a very strong possibility that I’m remembering that God is fond of you, and that I’m very fond of you too, and that our relationship has that spiritual component modeled after the One who loves us and gives us his Spirit. It might even come with a prayer, because that always seems appropriate to me.

Oh, and by the way … “I love you!”

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5 Responses to He’s very fond of you

  1. Todd Augsburger says:

    So … as Betty was talking just this morning, she asked if I still remembered that God was very fond of me. She hadn’t read the blog yet. She doesn’t need to–she can read minds!

  2. Tom & DonnaRae Sterrett says:

    And we love you both very much, Todd and Betty. We too are so very thankful that God is very fond of all of us!! So much he left the Glory of Heaven and came to earth in the form of a little baby who grew in favor….and gave His life that we might have eternal life. What an awesome God we serve!

  3. Jeannie says:

    And we are both very fond of both of you : }

  4. Rose says:

    I too know that God is very fond of each one of us. I too am fond of the 2 Augsburgers.
    Glad to hear that you (Todd) know that Betty can read your mind. It happens after 15 to 20 years together and she’s had a lot more time than that with you.
    Just this one time I think it was God through the Holy Spirit prompting her. Sometimes He sends us little messages just so we don’t forget He has this all in His plans and purpose. Yes God is very fond of you!

  5. Todd, Thank you for the gift of your blog. It is an awesome testimony. Would you be open to this site being shared with my Malone University students? I think it would be wonderful for them to read it and reflect on your eloquent and inspired words. In the Peace that passes all understanding, Lauren.

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