You are greatly loved

I have a dear friend who signs notes to me you are greatly loved. Which is cool, right?

On one of my phones I have played with the tag phrase at the end of emails. I am not sure anyone needs to know I have sent this from my iPhone, but perhaps they need a Bible verse, and exhortation of some sort, or to know they are greatly loved?

Sometimes I forget it is there. Sometimes I read it and think this snarky email I am about to send needs to be edited for snark if I truly believe the recipient is greatly loved. Sometimes I acknowledge it but then delete each letter because the mayor or the police chief or the college professor or college president already thinks I am crazy as a loon and annoying and foolish as well.

The phrase itself is not the strongest iteration of the idea. It is in passive voice. The active form is just I love you, which can be the most exposed and committed utterance when rendered true.

When we love someone enough to fight for them

When we intervene on their behalf.

When we are willing to be desperate or look foolish for them.

When we are willing to be misunderstood to keep them safe.

When we go hungry for them

Or give up jobs and honors for them.

Or when we call for help on their behalf.

When we give them our voice because their voice is young or small or taken from them.

They are greatly loved because love demands fierce and extraordinary things.

…..

A few days ago I was in deep mourning thinking about the sheer number of people who have decided that either I was not good enough for love, or worse, that God was not good enough for love.

I cried over this, and opened up YouTube to pray and sing through this grief. Matthew Mole’s You are loved appeared without a search or a place on my history.

God does that. He leaves signs all around us that we are greatly loved. He sends leaves falling over us, pennies shining on the pavement, songs which feel like lullabies, setting and rising suns–all love letters with the same matchless

guarantee–

You are greatly loved.

–John 3:16