It's in the twinkling of lights strung across houses and doorways and lamp posts and banisters and trees.
It's in the warmth of hands being held, circled 'round, gathered among food and family.
It's in the tinkling of a child's laugh or a dog's head resting on your lap.
It's that truth that your heart can be full of so many things and still ache.
Ache with the weight of the things left undone
Or the words you wish had been spoken, but lips were silent instead
How you can be in a room full of people, talking, connecting, and feel isolated
How you can leave a phone call at 1AM, hear them whisper 'I love you' a thousand times
And still hang up feeling like the loneliest soul in the world
Because somewhere amidst all of the laughter and smiles and touches and fun
There's a part of you that believes you're merely tolerated
That every failure on your part to be perfect leads to biting words
“Why are you like this?”
“No one could love you, not when you're such a mess.”
“Maybe if you put forth more effort, it would be easier to like you.”
Doesn't matter if nobody has ever said that to you
You say enough to yourself
And you let those words tumble around in your head for so long
That any expression of love toward you brings you pause and the question
“Yeah...but do you really?”
Because somewhere along the line you decided that rejection was inevitable
And that no one could possibly love you for exactly who you are
Because who you are falls so immeasurably far from who you should be
Can I tell you something that may sound too good to be true?
There's Someone out there who not only loves you
He likes you
He cherishes you
And that mess you see when you consider all of your shortcomings?
They're part of the message that every one of us
Has a unquenchable desire to be known and loved
By the One who created us to be known and loved
And maybe you've heard that before
Maybe you sing refrains of “Jesus Loves Me”
Yet cater to the doubt that God Almighty
Could never even tolerate you
He doesn't tolerate you
He redeems you
He adores you
He seeks you out
He takes on every sorrow, every pain, every doubt, and every fear
All of it on behalf of you
Because He loves you
So much so that He defeated Hell and Death
Just to make room for you at His table
So, maybe this holiday season has been spent among those you hold dear
Or maybe season's greetings have been you, Netflix, and a pint of ice cream
Wherever you are in the celebrations this year
Know that you are loved
Because perhaps you've felt like the lonely reject
That God begrudgingly accepts into His Kingdom
But the truth is, He's got His arms stretched out
Like the day He hung on that tree
He's got them open for you
And open for me
And He's calling out, shouting, pleading, saying,
“Whosoever will may come!”
There's plenty of room at the table.