Strip off Filters, Tags off Please!!

Of late, I have been thinking a lot about this matchless love. I have those moments when I’ve just walked through the ‘scorching heat’ then I go before God and like an innocent child, I ask Him, “God, do you still love me?” Paradox uhm? Of course, I know He does.

Well, God’s love takes different dimensions. It is one of those things our finite minds will never fully comprehend. What we comprehend as His love is just but a tip of the iceberg. And yes, the finished work of the cross at Calvary was the ultimate show of His love for mankind. I however want to approach this love from a different perspective A Tagless and Filter-insensitive love.

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I have those moments I’ve dressed like there’s no tomorrow and with fixed bus fare left the house and I have watched the stares and seen the warm reception, the smiles, the open doors…I walk in an office, a hotel, a cocktail reception, a business centre and the respect accorded me is overwhelming. Okay, have you ever been written off or watched it happen to someone ‘cos they appeared ‘hivi hivi’ when in reality they were loaded…like financially? Bertrand Russell, a British philosopher conceptualized ‘Appearance v/s Reality’ – a concept that we still practically grapple to grasp.

Last week, I was thinking supposing we were put in a room (you and I – many of us) with each of us a tablet attached to us that encodes what is running through our minds then displaying it publicly. Do you think if someone walked into the room and your neighbor watched your screen they would be impressed? What would we be thinking about the person who just walked in? The screens I suppose would have tags like: ‘Babby’, hustler, educated, ignorant, experienced, naïve, too young, too old, refined, crude, well-mannered, too serious, reckless etc. We put Tags on people. With these unproven tags, we determine their status then decide if and how we’ll interact with and relate to them.

Then there are those moments we spruce up our characters; a bit of foundation here, a splash of concealer there. We put on a hat that isn’t ours in order to gain acceptance or just simply to fit in. We put on Filters.

This love, this love!

The revelation above led me to think deeply about the contrast in God’s love.

It overwhelms my heart to know that I don’t need filters when I go before the throne of my Father, the throne of Mercy. I go as I am: imperfect, broken, helpless, poor, powerless, vulnerable, unrighteous…and I lay it all down at the foot of the cross, trading it all for a Beautiful Exchange. A Beautiful Exchange! It also overwhelms my heart that when my Father sees me at a glance, He doesn’t see all these tags attached to me. None of it whatsoever really matters to Him. He doesn’t see my: socio-economic status, upbringing, intellectual capacity, educational background, work, life and ministry experience. No, He doesn’t see my: job designation, age, how refined or unrefined I am, if I am exposed or not etc. And neither does He determine my importance by these attributes.

This love overwhelms me – A Tagless Love. When He looks at me, He instead sees an obedient heart; a heart willing and ready to be used of Him. And when I look at Him, when I stare deep into His beautiful eyes, all I see is LOVE. Authentic love. Tag-free and Filter-insensitive.

Going deeper, I thought for a moment that we have to work on self-acceptance for us to fully accept others, for we can’t give what we don’t possess and we can’t withdraw from where we haven’t priorly invested – Acceptance.

We all are work in progress. Yet if at all we are going to come to a place of deliberate and authentic love, we gotta Strip the Filters off us!  and Get the Tags off people!

Irene.

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