Friday, August 17, 2012

First Crush and Unfailing Love

First crush. Puppy love. In Indonesia, it is sometimes called cinta monyet, or monkey love. Whatever you call it, I doubt that anyone forgets their “first love”. 

Who was your first crush? Do you remember? I certainly do. I was in first grade at Adams Elementary School in Findlay, Ohio. There were a lot of first and second graders that year, but not enough for two full classes of each level. The solution was to take some of the kids from each grade and put them into a combined class. 
The boy I “fell in love with” was a very mature second grader. Let’s call him Martin. (The name has been changed to protect the innocent.)  If I remember correctly, he had dark, curly hair. He was smart. He was basically a good kid. As I recall, he was kind to me. I thought Martin was just about perfect.
In my case, this crush lasted all the way through fifth grade.  When Martin went on to junior high school and I was still a lowly elementary schooler, the interest predictably faded away.
I can’t remember all the silly things I must have done as I tried to attract Martin’s attention, but I can imagine what some of them must have been as I watch Rachel in the middle of her first crush. Rachel is head-over-heels for one of the boys at the children’s home where I work.  Let’s call him Alvin. (Again, the name has been changed to protect… 
Rachel is a tall six-year-old, while Alvin is thirteen and short for his age.  Rachel must think he is about nine or ten instead of more than twice her age.  Alvin does a pretty good job of treating Rachel like a kid sister, and being patient with her while she does all the goofy things little girls do when they have a crush on a boy.  Things like looking for him, waiting for him to get close to her, and then going all giggly and shy when he looks at her.  Things like writing, “I love Alvin” on page after page in her notebook.  One time, as he walked away into another room, she commented, “I really like Alvin.  He’s so adorable!”  What a hoot!
A couple days ago, she did the funniest thing I have seen yet. She took my camera and tried her hand at taking short video clips.  I worked at my computer as she lay on her stomach on the futon in the office taking video of herself. 
Click the video below to hear what I heard.  (Sorry about the picture quality.  Rachel hasn’t figured out how to do close-ups of herself. I’ve included a photo of her instead.  I couldn’t figure out how to cut the video, so you get the whole thing.)  Here is what Rachel said.

”A___, I really do love you. Just as people love you, just like it, I still love you.  All my days, all the time.  I hope you see gerak jalan so much.  I hope you get to see sometime.  Bye”
I had to smile.  How sweet.  Declaring her undying love.  Of course, that undying love will almost certainly fade with time, like virtually all first crushes do..  But I like her words.

“I really do love you. …I still love you.  All my days.  All the time”

This is what our Heavenly Father says to us.  He is not talking about puppy love, or a first crush that will eventually die out.  He is talking about perfect love, unconditional love, unfailing love.  Can you hear Him say these words to you?  .

My precious child, I really do love you.  
My love for you is true because I am the Truth. 
My love is sincere because there is no deception in me.  
My love is unshakeable because I cannot be shaken.  
My love will never fail because I cannot fail.  
You can count on my love because I AM LOVE.

I still love you.  
Even after you have messed up so many times.  
Even though you have sometimes walked away from me.  
Even when you are so busy that you don’t take time to spend with me.  
Even then, I still love you.  
I love you because that is who I am.  
There is nothing you can do to earn my love.  
There is nothing you can do to lose my love.

All my days. 
 That is how long my love for you will last, my child.  
It will last all my days.  
Since I have no end, my love for you will never end.  
No matter how long you live, my love for you will never run out.  
Other people may have promised to love you forever, 
and then turned around and hurt you or abandoned you.  
I never will.  
My love is eternal.

All the time.  
I am never too busy for you, my dear one.  
Never think that you are not important enough for Me to notice.  
I care about you.  
I care about everything that goes on in your life.  
I love it when you come to me to share your joys and your sorrows, 
your victories and your defeats, 
your pleasures and your pain.  
I rejoice with you when you win.  
I grieve with you when you lose.  
I smile with you when I see you enjoy My creation.  
I hurt with you 
when I see you wounded and mistreated 
by those who refuse to listen to Me.  
But know this, my precious child, 
I am with you in every season of your life. 
I love you all the time.

I have loved you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3

 I pray that you will allow your Heavenly Father’s love to pour over you and sink deeply into your heart.  Why not run into His arms of love?  He is waiting for you right now, arms open wide, always ready to hold you close. 

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