I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted your name and your word above everything. On the day I called, you answered me; you increased my strength of soul.
All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth. They shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord. For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he perceives from far away.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. ~ Psalm 138
When was the first moment you understood what love was?
Who was the first person you counted on to love you: the person who taught you what love is?
For me, it was my grandmother. I've mentioned before that in my early preschool days, my mom had to work a lot as a single mother, and so my grandparents were my primary caretakers during the day.
To this day when I think of steadfast love, my grandmother's image is the first one that comes to mind. Certainly, I've felt love from others - my parents, my brother, boyfriends, girlfriends, my husband - but when I think of steadfast love I imaging climbing into my grandmother's lap, or hearing her singing in her kitchen, or making me my favorite meal (which as a kid, believe it or not, was her cabbage, hamburger, and rice casserole).
So when I think of God's steadfast love, I see something similar. God wanting to pull us onto God's lap. God offering the beauty of nature and music for my enjoyment. God providing a sustaining meal of bread and wine at a table that defies time and space.
God loving with a love that is often beyond human understanding, and yet also completely trustworthy and certain.
Teach me to love as you love, dear Lord. Amen