Being Loved

Here's a scene from my past. I’ve just had the funnest summer of my life as the worship leader at a summer camp. I’ve met all kinds of great campers and counselors. I’ve also met this very cool counselor named Aleta. Over the course of our summer we have fallen in serious "like". As much as she talked about her great fear of falling into a shallow camp fling and her great commitment to not let that happen – I am starting to think Aleta is falling for me. I could tell something more was happening by the way she smiled at me as she smeared an ice cream cone on my leg (long story), the way she looked at me (probably admiring my mullet), the way she listened to me when we sat poolside talking about God, the way she gazed at me as I led worship (probably my voice captivating her and making it almost impossible to avoid the magical spell of me), and the way she wrote me all those encouraging notes throughout the summer. By the time summer was ending, I had gained a lot of confidence that Aleta (the most beautiful and quality woman on staff) was maybe even falling in love with me - of all people. She had left camp before me to go back to college. The very next day, during dinner, someone tapped me on the back and said, “Andy, phone call for you in the back!” I got up from my seat, picked up the phone, and heard the sound of Aleta’s voice. Her very first words to me were, “I am such a wimp!!  I can’t believe I’m doing this, but I just had to call and say hi!” At that moment I wanted to shout out “I'm king of the world!” because in that moment I knew – “I am loved!!!”Pretty cool moment, but was I truly experiencing the fullness of what it really means to be loved? To be brutally honest, in that moment I was really experiencing what we could call “Situational Love” - the intoxication of being valued by another person because I have done something to win their affection. It’s the love experience most of us know best and want most. But I haven't really experienced the fullness of love when I’ve won affection because I look good. I haven't really experienced the fullness of love when I’ve won affection because I’ve been a gentleman. I haven't really experienced the fullness of love when I’ve won affection because of my great singing voice. I haven't really experienced the fullness of love when I in any way have done something to win someone's affection.Being loved means more than winning affection. It means being valued and treasured even when you offer nothing. Stay tuned as I walk through the book of Hosea, to see how God loves.