One More Kisses?

In The God Blog by cwfeldmann

One More Kisses?

By Nick Llyod

Laying on her back with her blanket tucked up under her chin and a smirk on her face, my 21-month old daughter confidently asks the question she knows will postpone bedtime.

“One more kisses?”

It happens at the same time each night. I put her in the jammies with the pink hearts on front, help her brush her teeth, turn on her night light, start her lullaby music, rock her in the chair, read a story and pray with her. And then, to complete the daily routine, I lay her down in her bed and pile her animals and blanket around her.

All the right people are present. The old school version of Pooh Bear is there. So is the fluffy, white bear that I named “Bernard” but Paytyn decided should be called “Meman” instead.   And, of course, the blanket. Each is an essential member of the bedtime routine.

I kiss her goodnight. I run my fingers through her hair and tell her I love her and to sleep well (and secretly pray it will be late into the morning).

And as I walk away, knowing she is waiting for just the perfect timing, I reach the bedroom door about to leave and I hear a delicate voice….

“One more kisses?”

Every night. Just as I reach the door. Every conceivable condition for her optimum bedtime is fulfilled.  She has everything she needs, but she wants one more thing…

“One more kisses?”

“Daddy? One more kisses?”

Ten minutes and four trips back into the room for “one more kisses” later, I’m smothering her face with kisses, tickling her squirming body, and our laughter and giggling is bouncing off the walls with our shadows in the dimly lit room.

It’s hard to know who is having more fun. Some nights I think I would come back for “one more kisses” all night long if neither of us required the sleep. I mean, how do you turn down such an adorable offer?

“One more kisses?”

As I finally pull myself away from the beauty of the moment and head down stairs for good, still laughing with the intoxicating love for Paytyn, I’m often reminded that God sees me like I see her. He loves me. He enjoys me. He delights in me. And maybe in that walk away from her room, my smile catches the most complete glimpse of this God who describes himself as my “Father”.

Unfortunately, I don’t always think like that. Sometimes, how I think about God is wrong about how He thinks about me.

Here’s my problem. Too often I’ve been told that God doesn’t really like me. Sure, he tolerates me, but he’s actually terminally angry with me. And I’m the one with the disease.

In fact, I’ve been told that God is so angry with me that he had to have the brutally savage sacrifice of his own son in order to satisfy the blood-thirsty vengeance he feels toward me.

Rough Translation: I couldn’t stand you and was gonna have to kill you, but I was able to find some other poor sucker to take out my anger on, so now I can go ahead and spare you. You’re welcome.

And that’s the “Good News”?

But even now, when God looks at me, he doesn’t even see me. He just sees Jesus. As if without Jesus I’m unlovable, unlookable, unlikeable.

And that’s a big deal, because it has birthed in my mind an idea about how God sees me that really messes up how I see Him; that God doesn’t really view me like his own child that he tickles and giggles with, but as a commodity he trades in. He owns me, but he doesn’t love me.

It’s a picture that has made him distant, cold, detached and worse… a father I’d like to disown.

And it isn’t at all who I think God really is.

In the Bible, John once wrote this summary about who God really is:

“God is love” (1 John 4:16)

Simple? Maybe. But keep in mind, this is the concluding statement of a man that walked with and lived with Jesus every day. This Jesus whom the author of Hebrews called the “exact representation” of God (1:3).

And in the end the best way he can summarize what God is like, having seen him up close and personal, is to tell us that he is pure love. Incredible. And so different than how I’m often tempted to see Him.

Tyrant? Law Enforcer? Blood-Thirsty? Condemning? Angry? Disapproving?

Nope. Just LOVE. God is love.

But better yet, read the intensity and personality of God’s love for you that John also wrote down:

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)

That God sees us and loves us as a Father loves his own child is not new. It is a common comparison in the Bible. But notice the intensity of the love of this Father that John describes. It’s not just love. It’s GREAT LOVE. Love that has been LAVISHED. It is the tender, undeterred love of a dad for his daughter.

It’s love that tickles and giggles. It’s love that laughs and plays.   It’s love that creates perfect circumstances. It’s love that names teddy bears. It’s love that comes back for “one more kisses” over and over, no matter who you are or what you’ve done or how late in the day it gets.

It’s love that sees you as a precious child. It’s love that genuinely loves you. No strings.

So, as you ponder the “Character of God” and explore the mysteries of who He is and the story he is orchestrating in this life, may you never forget WHO he is. May you never forget that he always loves you with an intense pursuing love, whether you are good, bad, religious, agnostic or even if you always refuse to love him back.

Because, whatever the death and resurrection of Jesus accomplished on a metaphysical level you can be sure it wasn’t about God finding a way to love you. He has always loved you.

No matter what anyone else tells you about what it means to have our lives “hid in Christ,” you can be positive it doesn’t mean that God has to disguise who you really are with the picture of someone better.   When He sees you, he sees his dearly loved child.

And as you learn to see God as the Father that truly delights in you, unconditionally loves you, and desires the best for you, may you one day be drawn to find yourself stalling in his presence asking simply…

“One more kisses?”

Nick Loyd is a High School Pastor in Everett, Washington. Nick has had a very interesting series of articles about a non-violent kingdom on his blog over the last several months. Nick was recently accepted in the Fuller’s Master’s of Divinity Program. Nick has some great insights about the King and His Kingdom. In this picture, Nick and family celebrate the Oregon Ducks trouncing of the USC Trojans!