The moment Lucy was born, I immediately felt a connection. But it wasn’t until Day 2 of her life that I experienced a bond. I was sitting in a large overstuffed chair, the foot stool piled high with books. I was a full time Seminary student at the time, and I was very delusional that I would give birth and get right back to studying. Our bags from the hospital were still sitting in the living room, because no one had gotten a wink of sleep in 36 hours. I had a cup of coffee, a glass of water, and a bowl of crackers all within arm’s reach. I was glued to the chair. I was breastfeeding, and Lucy thought she needed to nurse constantly. My hormones were heightened, I was exhausted and my milk must have just started coming in. I looked down at Lucy. Lucy looked up at me. Our eyes met, and I wept. A feeling came over me that I had never felt before. It was so powerful I could do nothing but weep for the feeling of love that was completely overwhelming and all-consuming.
That love I felt was a verb. It was something my body, mind and soul were doing to create a bond between Lucy and I.
The love that Scripture talks about, when talking about God is an adjective. It does not explain what God does, but who God is. In 1 John 4:8 the author wrote, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” God does not love, but God is love.
I can say I love Lucy, but it is different than saying I am love.
However, I am made in God’s image, and God is love. Love is emitting from the presence of God. As a creature made in that image, how do I share that love? How do I show the world a God who does not love, but a God who is love?
Being a mother has taught me what it means to be made in God’s image. It’s hard to watch God’s children firing bitterly at one another. People made to show the world love, have been showing the world nothing other than the brokenness that infected the creation long ago. As a new creation, living in Christ and not in my brokenness, I am being formed in the image of love. I am being molded by God to emit love from my very being. But the moment that I give into my humanness, I show a false reflection of God to the world. The responsibility is huge. There is nothing small about being made in God’s image to share in the work of the Kingdom. And this is the Kingdom that my citizenship resides in, not in the nation that we are pledging ourselves to, dividing ourselves for, and losing members because of.