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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Jesus loves you... but I'm His favorite.

It was one of those embarrassing moments on the road, when you know you're guffawing so hard that the other drivers are looking askew at you. You're all alone, and you laugh the kind of laugh that, if you had a carbonated beverage, would be dangerous. It was all because I'd seen a bumper sticker in the next lane that read "Jesus Loves You" in large letters; then in smaller letters on the next line, "but I'm His favorite." A cute young driver drove this cute young car with a rosary hanging from the rearview mirror. The line took me so unexpectedly that several more times I chuckled on my way to my destination.

This was about five years ago, but the memory hasn't left me. And something someone said recently brought it back to mind. They said it's mind boggling when you realize that God gives His full attention to each and every one of us, even if we all pray at the same time. Yes, it certainly is. It's also mind boggling to realize that each and every one of us is His favorite.

I first made the realization of the same thought in somewhat different words, almost a decade ago. I was very, very angry at someone and having a difficult time forgiving. What they had done really was "unforgivable" by the standards of secular society. But I knew that not to forgive would interfere with my own relationship with Jesus. Then a revelation occurred to me: Jesus loves this person more than I love my own children.

How can I hate someone that Jesus loves that much, and still try to be in His good favor? I can't.
In a sense, that person is His favorite. Because He loves that person more than I would love a favorite child. He loves that person more than I love my husband. He loves that person, and every single person I will ever meet, as His favorite. For a human that sounds like a contradiction, an impossibility; but for God, whose love (like His existence) is infinite, all things are possible.

Today, I ask you to challenge yourself. For the next week, try to remember to think this consciously about each person you come into contact with: that person is God's favorite. How should I treat that person to please God?