Anyone out there remember these pins?
I know I wore one (on the lapel of my blue denim jacket – oh the early 80’s). I have to confess, it was a self-confidence thing for me. I never felt right unless I knew I was loved by someone. In high school and college, I had to have a girlfriend, I just wasn’t complete without knowing someone loved me. Yeah, I knew my parents loved me, but that wasn’t enough. I wanted someone who wanted me, who made me a priority in their life, someone who chose me out of all the rest.
Whether the need is expressed, we all want to be special, we all want to be chosen, we all want to be loved (is that so wrong?). We will go to great lengths to find this love, too. In Junior High and High School, no one dares stand out of the crowd. You do your best to fit in, to look like the rest, to perform your best, so that you will be accepted, not rejected by your peers. Even as adults, we so desperately want to be accepted we’ll compromise our values or spend obscene amounts of money on things we don’t need but will make people think more highly of us. Meanwhile we do our very best to hide our flaws so that no one will see our true selves and leave us rejected and unacceptable.
Still, there is one who sees us as we really are, and loves us anyway. Quite frankly, in God’s sight, we are unacceptable people. Our sins are exposed before him, we cannot cover them up. Even our best efforts to try to make ourselves presentable before God are flawed and stained with sin. As Isaiah puts it, “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.”
And yet, God loves us still. In fact, He loves us so much that He gave us His Son, so that whoever will believe in Him will not die but have everlasting life (John 3:16). In Christ, whose righteousness covers our sinfulness, whose holiness atones for our trespass, whose pardon forgives our transgression, in Christ the unacceptable find acceptance in God. When Jesus cried out “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” it was so that we could cry “My God, my God, why hast thou accepted me?”
Mystery of Mercy – Caedman’s Call
Herein lies the gospel: that I, unloveable and unacceptable, am loved by God. The desperate longing to be accepted, chosen, and loved is found in Christ. As Les and Leslie Parrot put it, “My compulsion for completion can only be met in Jesus Christ.” I know I am loved, and nothing can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus my Lord.
I used to wear that pin as a relationship status symbol – kind of like what we see on Facebook today. Now, if I can find one, I think I’ll wear the pin to help proclaim the gospel.
Isn’t it great to know that you are loved?