God Loves Me

Dear Friends,

I heard a simple little story the other day about one of my favorite authors, Maya Angelou, who passed away a few years ago. She was a poet and playwright and writer of several children's books. But she is perhaps best known for her biographical works, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, about her very difficult childhood. In 1993, she recited her poem, "On the Pulse of Morning," at the inauguration of Bill Clinton.

And I heard a simple story about her. Simple, but pretty profound if you really try to wrap your mind around it. One day, she was talking to a friend and she read a line to him from a book she had been reading that said, "God loves me." And her friend said, "Read it again." So she read it again - "God loves me." And he said, "Read it again, read it again." So she did - "God loves me." This happened a couple of times.

I know we are all familiar with this as a concept that God loves us. As a child I used to sing, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so." Maybe you did, too. We all have some understanding that God loves us. But I wonder if we don't mostly take it for granted, and fail to dig deeply enough into what that might mean for our lives if we really believe it to be true.

Maya Angelou said that after she had read that line, "God loves me," over and over at the urging of her friend, she became very emotional. She said later in an interview, "It still humbles me, that this force, God, which made leaves and fleas and stars and rivers and you, loves me - me, Maya Angelou. It's amazing! I can do anything, and do it well, any good thing, I can do it. That's why I am who I am. Yes. Because God loves me and I'm amazed at it and grateful for it."

I'm not sure that I will ever get all choked up over this, like Maya Angelou, that's just not in my makeup, and I'm not sure how to instruct you to have the same kind of emotional experience that she had because of it. But I do wonder how our lives might be changed, and the lives of those around us, if we would just reflect a little more on this love that God has for us - a love that made us, a love that is constantly at work in us, and a love that has so much to offer to those with whom we might share it.

Grace and Hope to you,

Pastor Duane