It’s sometimes hard to believe God loves us or even likes us. I fail so much and know my sin so well. The sinless one, the Almighty, the perfect one who created everything from nothing… how could He love or like me? I don’t know. But I hope and have a suspicion that He may be proud of us in spite of everything we put ourselves and others through.
Despite how much we torture ourselves with our failure and our ongoing sin we somehow still attempt to create beauty. I was struck by this while watching the new Bradley Cooper directed movie from Netflix “Maestro” about the American composer Leonard Bernstein. Despite all the ways the movie depicts how Leonard screwed up his marriage, complicated his work, and robbed himself and others of God’s gift to him, he found his way through it all and still composed beautiful eternal scores and music we hum along to today.
I like to believe, and had the thought while watching this movie, that God might just be proud of His little sons and daughters made in His image. Maybe not everyday and not in every way, but I think sometimes despite all the ways we fuck up all the blessings we have God looks at us in our struggle and says “Well done, okay and struggling servant”. I mean that’s the words we hope to hear one day in Glory, right? Well done, Good & Faithful servant? I can’t imagine those words being said to me, but perhaps in God’s abundant love and through Grace I may yet hear that praise one day.
In the meantime, I find it hard not to wonder at all the things humans have done and accomplished since we left the Garden of Eden in this beautiful world. I write this post while I lookout at Hollywood — a city full of pollution, homeless, filth, deceit, and greed, so I am all too aware of how wicked and discouraging man can be. I realize the fall into sin from the Garden was profound and as the Reformed and John Calvin wrote we are absolutely and totally depraved. But perhaps, in spite of everything, we still shine through some of God’s innate goodness and glory while we carry on with our lives and try to find our way back home.
I believe that just as I try to encourage my infant baby girl to say her first words or get a smile from her when I wake her in the morning, God cheers us on in our struggle and toil to press on and make this fallen world a little better for the next sojourner along the way. I know that this is true, it’s just so many days the Devil and my shame try to tell me I’m no good and that the battle has already been lost. The battle is not lost, in fact the war is already won. Not by us, but for us… because Christ died on the cross a couple thousand years ago to tell us that God really does want us to keep pressing on and He will be proud of our journey one day.
So as I look out at this complicated city of Los Angeles, and I see the skyscrapers, the homes, the art, the movies, the symphonies, paintings, parental love, kind stranger, or the random smile of a passerby on the sidewalk… I think God is really glad and proud with how far we have come. We have a long ways to get back home, but despite and in spite of everything we still create beauty and hopefully shine a light to bring others home.