Conversations lately have been wild, as I feel almost embarassed at how blunt and obvious so many people in my life have been when it comes to approaching me about my own faith. Case in point: today at work, one of the receptionist ladies who answer phones, do patient charting, and a host of other things, asked me "tell me what was the best single thing you learned while at school/seminary last year?" Now, understand this: up until this point, the most contact I've had with this woman is a fair 'hello' exchange from time to time. But here she is, asking me the most radical thing I learned last year at seminary and wouldn't you know I had to think for five minutes before even answering. My response, now looking back, wasn't so great even though she seem to accept it as legitimate and marginally profound. And now that I think back again, I wonder why I didn't steal from the great theologian Karl Barth when giving my response. Because after decades of theological research and intense epistemological debates and creation/evolution talks, and liberal/conservative protestant discussions, he was asked what (out of it all) was the greatest thing he came to know.
"The greatest thing that I've ever learned and known is that Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."
Sometimes I need to be just taken back to square one and remember who it is I'm actually living for. Yes, Jesus loves me...and Jesus even likes me (something Brennan Manning taught me to accept) and this I've come to know and love and cherish and cling to when I'm feeling alone and depressed, and depend on when I don't know where to go or who to turn to. It is the "it" in the gospel that blows me to pieces. It is in the form of grace and yet still, it hits me almost every time.