There’s this one love story I know. It has some tragedy in it. Well, a lot of tragedy. The kind that makes you feel cold inside and has you wondering if there’s any point going on. But, thankfully, there’s a whole heap of triumph in the story, too. It ends in triumph, which is where each of us aches for all the love stories to end. It’s the sort of love story that helps you when you’re in the middle of your hard things, be able to whisper to yourself, “All will be well.” Even if you have to repeat that a few times to yourself and practice believing it when you mostly want to doubt.
This particular story starts way back in the beginning. Like, back in the Garden-beginning. Back when everything was pure and good and as it ought to be. There were people involved. And a Maker. And there was this deep close relationship between them. There was bare skinned vulnerability and complete trust and no shame at all. There was no need for any kind of shame.
But, then something pretty awful happened. There was this falling out. You see, the ugliness of sin had entered in and scraped everything up and that’s when things fractured. Hearts broke. Relationships were severed. Nothing was as it should be anymore and everyone could feel it. Things began to wilt and decay. And die. Tears flowed. There was confusion. And chaos. And a lot of darkness after that.
But, thankfully that wasn’t the end of the story. Because before sin scraped everything up, the Maker had a plan.
He would send a Rescuer. The Maker couldn’t stop loving the people that He’d made so He sent Love to chase after them, in the form of the most fragile Being. Love came in the form of a tiny baby and that baby would grow up to be a King.
As a tiny infant, that King was laid in a splintery old feed trough for a crib. Which is strange because most kings don’t have such humble beginnings. You know, with feed troughs for cribs. But then, this was no ordinary King.
Yes, so the King grew up and one day, just when everyone thought He would surely make everything right again by smashing the bad guys and overthrowing the systems of oppression with His brute strength and overwhelming power, did something no one even thought He would or should do. He laid Himself down on a splintery cross. He gave up His life to redeem back the souls of the ones whose sin had taken captive and turned into slaves.
That King’s love would overcome the sin and the dark in people’s souls and began to heal things.
And the rest of creation would always be shouting that love story out. How stuff here is not as it should be. Things fade. They die. And decay. But, just as the Maker is in the process of redeeming souls, one day He’ll come back to make everything right again. So until then, all of creation waits. Quietly, hopefully waits.
The woods and the hills all wait in such eager expectation. And that’s why all the falling asleep is so beautiful. That’s why the grass and the bare limbs are laced up in glory, even now.
To remind us of that old love story coming true. That’s why we can whisper into the recesses of our darkest doubt–that all will be well. And even now, the raggedy edges of the fields and the sparrows in the thickets are speaking it into us again and again–that there’s a Lover chasing after us, still today.