Friday, August 29, 2014

On Augustus Waters, a mother's love and the literal heart of Jesus ...


I have a confession.  Sometimes I indulge in Young Adult literature and I can't blame it on my daughter, because she doesn't share my love of reading (how did that happen?).  I read the book, The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.  And then I went to the movie and sat in a theater packed with teenagers.  I may have cried a little.

If you haven't read/seen it, it's about a girl, Hazel Grace Lancaster, who has cancer.  She meets a boy, Augustus Waters, at her cancer support group and he begins to pursue her.  Relentlessly.  Hazel tries to keep her distance because she feels like a grenade that is going to hurt everyone who loves her when she dies.  She feels like it's her responsibility to minimize the casualties in her wake.  And then Augustus says the famous line:
"Oh, I wouldn't mind, Hazel Grace.  It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you."
And all the girls in the theater swooned.

Because, what girl wouldn't want to be loved by someone who says things like that.  Who wouldn't want to be loved by someone who sees beyond her mess and pursues her.  Unabatedly.

Flash back to the day my son was born.  I couldn't stop looking at him.  Those tiny fingers and those cheeks - he was perfect.  I named him and I loved him just because he was my son.  And then the thought crossed my mind, "One day he is going to break your heart...".  What a strange thought to have in that moment.  If I was as brilliant as John Green's Augustus Waters, I would have said, "Taylor Scott, it would be a  privilege to have my heart broken by you."

How many times is a mother's heart broken over her children?  A billion and one. When that baby is feverish.  When the toddler is defiant.  When your child is teased at school.  Or how about the child who stomps off to her room yelling, "I hate you!" as she slams the door.  Or the teen who is making poor choices.  A mother's heart is broken over and over and over again.  And yet her love for her children would chase them to the moon and back.  Or to Colorado.  Same difference.

A mother knows better than most that her children are far from perfect.  We know their faults and weaknesses and the mistakes they've made.   But still.  There is nothing that can change the way she feels about them.  Motherhood isn't easy.  It comes at a price.  Our hearts.

There is nothing like a mothers love.

Or is there?

I think about the Garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus is about to face His death.  He is alone and praying,
"My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine."  - Matthew 26:39
And Jesus went to the cross, paying the penalty for our mistakes and failures.
 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  - Romans 5:8
He paid the price for our sin, so that we wouldn't have to.  He died so we could live.  Because:
 ... the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.  - Romans 6:23
He said: 
"Insert your name here (Olivia Christine), it would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you."
 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you..."
These words, from the "literal heart of Jesus" (for those who read the book or saw the movie), are being said to you and me.

How many times has His heart been broken over me?  A billion and one.  When I am sick.  When I am defiant.  When I am going through a hard time.  When I am angry at Him.  He knows my faults and weaknesses.  He knows the mistakes I have made.  But still.  He named me - Beloved.  What's in a name?  I talk about that more here.  When God looks at me, he sees love.  And I didn't have to do anything to earn it.  I am perfect in His eyes.  How can that be?  I know how far from perfect I am.

There is nothing like the Father's love.

It pursues me.  Unabatedly.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life... - Psalm 23:6
The use of the word 'follow' in this verse is the Hebrew word, radaph - to chase; run after; hunt.  So this verse literally says:
Surely goodness and mercy will chase; run after; hunt me all the days of my life.
Here's another verse:
Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. - Psalm 139:7&8
I want my children to know how much I love them.  There is nowhere they can go that my love won't follow.  Just as much, I want them to know how much God loves them.  How can I make them understand, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is?  And then I remember.  "Surely goodness and mercy will chase Taylor and Celine all the day's of their lives".  God is relentlessly pursuing them.  Because He loves them more than I do. 

We spend our lives looking for someone who will love us.  Girls everywhere will swoon over Augustus Waters and dream of such words being said to them.  

Yet there they are.  Right in front of us:
"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.." - Jeremiah 31:3
Jesus is saying your name.  His goodness and mercy are chasing you.  And me.  The literal heart and body of Jesus have already been broken for you.


  1. That was beautiful! You described the way I feel about my brought tears to my eyes. Great post. I'm looking forward to reading all that I missed and all your future posts!


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