FOR MOST OF my life, I thought that God loved me. The key word is thought. Intellectually, I knew that God loved me, but my heart didn’t believe it. Not really. I didn’t feel God’s love. I didn’t trust it. I didn’t feel worthy of it. My pain and childhood trauma led me to believe that God must not care much about me. I know I’m not alone. Many of us who talk a good game when it comes to God’s love for us don’t believe at our core that we are God’s beloved. I think doubting God’s love is part of the human condition; so many feel unworthy of it. Still, whether we believe it or not, we are God’s beloved. Deep within us, down deep in our soul, we know this truth. But time, experience, culture, trauma, and other factors slowly cause us to disconnect from this truth and forget who we are. The further we get from our core truth, the more we live as people who are unloved, succumbing to addiction, self-loathing, suicide, prejudice, bullying, gun violence, war, ecological destruction, and so on. That’s why this journey is so critical. Our world is desperate to know it is beloved, but that will happen only one person at a time. In other words, this journey begins with us. Once we know we are beloved, we can help others recognize their belovedness.
—Kristen E. Vincent, We Are Beloved: A Lenten Journey with Protestant Prayer Beads (Upper Room Books, 2019)
“See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.”
—1 John 3:1a (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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