Quartz Hill School of Theology

Does Anybody Love God?

R.P. Nettelhorst

       The pain of being God: to know that no one really loves you.
       Oh, but people make a show of it all the time; they give you things: like money, kind words, and they work for you. But, they still don't really love you. They sing songs, they praise your name, they thank you all the time.
       But, they still don't really love you.
       They tell each other and strangers about the manifold wonders of you, about all the nifty things you've accomplished, the wonders you've created, the good things you've done for them. But, they still don't really love you.
       They think you're a really neat guy.
       But they don't really love you.
       Because you're God, they don't really have much concern for you as a person. They care about you because you're so neat to be around, you're not a pain. Because you're just so darn nice and kind and wonderful, "I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever..."
       But getting a kind word from them, getting to talk to them -- it's only because of what you do for them, not because they really feel concern for you as a person.
       Who understands or cares about the pain of God -- what it is to be surrounded by adoring throngs who adore because you're a nice fellow, a comforting crutch, not because they really concern themselves about what you feel, what you care about -- or even imagine they can, or should. Who cares about God's feelings? Who ever sees God's pain? Who hugs God because they feel compassion for the pain of being God, the intense loneliness, the empty, hollow, unrequited void.
       Like the rich man who has every friend in the world.
       Except none hear the ache.
       Or care.
       Or think about caring.
       How can we love God, when all we can see is our own neediness, or own hopes for aid? "Does Job fear God for nothing?"
       To hold the hand of God, to listen to his heart, to feel his pain, to taste his joys, to long for his happiness -- that is to love God. To want to be with God because he's a person too -- and having no ulterior motive in our being there -- that is to care for Him.
       God needs love.
       Do you care about God's feelings?
       Or only about your's?
       Do we ever apply 1 Corinthians 13 to our relationship with God?

       "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
       "Love never fails."

       How do we love people? Do we love people? Do we really care about them, or is it simply that we love them because they're nice to us, or because they are, in some way, useful to us?

       "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
       "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
       "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"

       And if we really, genuinely do love someone -- really care about their feelings and making them happy -- to emptying ourselves and giving them our hearts and minds and saying here, this is me, this is all I am -- take me, let me be with you because I want to be with you, because I really care, not because it makes me feel good to be with you, not because I somehow think I'll be viewed with more respect if I spend this time with you, not because I think if I love you you'll love me, or if I'm nice to you, you'll have to be nice to me, or if I give you things, you'll have to give me things, or if I accept you, you'll have to accept me. If we ever do genuinely love someone -- some human being -- can we ever love God that way? Do we really love God at all? Does anyone?

From the theology book by R.P. Nettelhorst, Does God Have a Long Nose?

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Quartz Hill School of Theology
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