There’s nothing seemingly rational about the way in which God shows affection to his creation. When we talk about love, we attach all of these catches, just to make sure nobody that doesn’t deserve loves accidentally gets some splashed on them. But, God, he turns the bucket completely over onto the undeserving and smacks the bottom.
I can’t help but think this is the kind of love Jesus is talking about giving away when he says that all the law and the prophets can be summed up in a lifestyle of loving God and loving your neighbor. All of God’s commands are summed up tidily in the command to love. But not our kind of love. Not the kind that expects something in return or doesn’t give until it receives. It’s God’s love—the kind that breeds scandal and misunderstanding from those with their underwear on too tight.
Jesus told stories about God’s type of love. He talked about people showing up at the crack of dawn to work in the boiling sun, getting paid a fair wage, only to see the no-goods who showed up an hour before quitting time getting the same amount. He talks of parties where the important people are all too busy to show, so anybody from any gutter, street corner or bar stool could come, as long as they were willing. It’s crazy, upside-down, nutso world, where the least of these are the most of the these, and the last in line find themselves getting first place, while the first are standing on their tippy-toes just to catch a glimpse.
It’s a love that accepts us just as we are, soaking us to the bone with grace. Then we find ourselves whistling the tune. Doing a little jig to the music. Dancing and singing a tune of love like we never thought we could. There is no comprehending the logic of God’s love. It doesn’t follow our broken rules. It sounds stupid to help those who can never help you back. It seems foolish to we unaware criminals who worship justice. But to those who recognize that they’re withering away in this world, it’s butter, baby. And it’s free.