Years ago I wrote this short story, The Relentless Prince and the Despicable Maiden, and one friend asked me if the story was about our common friend who happened have come from a past that has caused so much shame in her life — rejection, rape, painful relationships, drugs, insecurities, depression, etc. I told my friend, no, the story was not ‘inspired’ by her.
Years later (meaning now), I realized that that story is haunting me with lovely truths about who I am. Once more, I am finding myself able to fit my feet in the ‘despicable maiden’s’ slippers. A life, because of the grace of God, is ultimately led to a point so low with a realization so disappointing, having come face to face with realities of our lack, incompetence, failure, weakness, desperation… It is during this point in ones life where God’s love becomes finally more conceivable. Because during the days when we feel worthy of the life we live, somehow we also feel deserving of every breath we take. But the place of utter disappointment with ourselves and our lack of accomplishment is the ONLY place where the absence of “conditions to merit the love of God” could FINALLY dawn on us. It is just as in the song The Beautiful Letdown by Switchfoot:
“We are a beautiful let down,
The church of the dropouts
The losers, the sinners, the failures and the fools
Oh what a beautiful let down
Are we salt in the wound
Let us sing one true tune”
There was something God spoke in my ears this morning and it made laugh and cry. He said, “If all these had not happened, if I had not “let you down,” we wouldn’t be as close as we are now. It doesn’t really matter that you couldn’t find anything sparkling to offer Me. It is the way we are so close to each other that delights me. I can fulfill all your dreams in an instant but now what is more precious is that you understand already that it is not that kind of success that matters. Success is finding out that I love you with no conditions attached.”
This, God spoke after I sung the song You Are God Alone. Then it dawned on me. What the heck am I looking for in this life? I am loved by a King, one who was not created, a God who does as He wishes, He holds the universe in His hands, and I am loved by this king. And He had to stoop down and find a way to get me to notice His love for me – even for a moment, hopefully for a lifetime ’til eternity.
But the ‘letting down’ had not come from a desire to disappoint, but it comes from a desire to keep us from running away from His love. But once we have been snatched from death and returned into His loving arms, we realize that we were not really ‘let down’ by God. Truth is, we have more than what we need when we know that we have Him.
So Jesus, I thank you for the beautiful letdown, the place where you embraced me with more beauty than I could ever gain running hard after all that glitters in this world.