I stared aimlessly across the room until his gaze caught my eye. When our eyes met it was magic – not only did my heart skip a beat and my breath get caught in my throat, but wordlessly from across the room I felt his love. I knew from that short glance that I was loved fully and completely for who I am. In that moment I was filled with a confidence and assurance from him, my friend, my companion, my lover. Everyone else in that crowded room faded away. He was all that I wanted.

Perhaps I shouldn’t entertain any aspirations of writing romance novels, but you get the picture, right? A party, a crowded room, you make eye contact with your lover from across the room and wordlessly communicate your love for one another. It’s a moment that our hearts long for in many ways because it would simply be icing on the cake. It’s not about that moment, per se, but about how that moment epitomizes the relationship that exists between you and your lover day in and day out. That confidence and assurance of a deep and abiding love between the two individuals can’t pass between them in such a gaze if their life outside of the crowded party is tumultuous.

Someone who knows my word for the year posed this question to me today: “So, if God’s been your lover for 3 months now, what’s an example of how He’s demonstrated that since He’s not physically here with you?” Whew, tough question!

The truth is, I hadn’t exactly thought about that question until tonight, but it’s one I should have been contemplating all along this year. I think the answer I gave on the spot is still the best answer that I have. He has provided me with an overwhelming confidence in His love that makes me feel like He caught my eye from across the room at a crowded party and I saw the depth of His love in His eyes. I can’t say that I have ever experienced God’s love on this level before. He’s been a Father, He’s been a Friend, He’s been One who loves me unconditionally, but never did I imagine it possible to see God as my Lover. Sure, we’re taught from a young age that “Jesus loves me,” but it’s easy to associate that with familial love that stems mostly out of obligation due to the birth relationships. Over time we see God walk with us and know that He loves us like a brother or a friend. As we read the Bible it talks about God’s unconditional love for us, and we see that love as something beyond human comprehension or that humans can’t do themselves.

But to see God as Lover is wholly different. It’s intimacy on an entirely new plane, but that strikes a familiar chord and satisfies a deep, intense longing. It’s very human and it’s a universal desire to have a deeply intimate love. Like the Tenth Avenue North song “Beloved” says, “Love of my life, Look deep in my eyes, There you will find what you need.” I knew for a long time that I should be satisfied in God alone, but I never actually imagined that I would experience it. The desire for intimacy that I felt seemed to be something too human for God to satisfy. Sure, He created me, but I still believed I had desires that were beyond His capacity to fulfil. I probably also believed, as I described when I talked about my personal hut in Africa, that if I let God satisfy those needs, I would be committing myself to a life without a human lover here on Earth. I don’t have any assurance that I will ever have extravegent love from another person while I’m hanging out in this Earth suit, but I do know that I have the extravegent love of my Savior and that’s enough for whatever comes my way. And of course, that’s not to say that I don’t wax and wane from time to time in holding to this new view of God, but such is life in the flesh.

I partly wish I could write a blog containing the 9 or 12 steps to experiencing God as Lover. It seems like it would be nice to take a pill to grasp it or read a book and understand it completely. However, the disadvantage of those methods would be that we would feel like we had something to do with reaching the point where we could see God in this light. Instead I stand in awe of the new perspective that He’s given me. I don’t know exactly when things changed for me or how I got here, and I can’t tell someone else how to do it. What I can do is confidently say that it was God who changed my heart. It is only by His grace and in His power that the deep rooted lies by which I lived my life were uprooted and replaced with the Truth of His love for me. I just pray I can cling to that perspective daily… In the words of yet another Tenth Avenue North song, “Satisfy”:

When the day is closing in
Like the stars in the night I am falling
Into the pull of the earth and it’s affection
In me, oh Lord, can you create
A pure heart ’cause I’m afraid
That I just might run back to the things I hate

Satisfy me Lord, oh oh
Satisfy me Lord, oh oh
Yeah, I’m begging You, to help me see
You’re all I want, You’re what I need
Oh, satisfy me Lord

 You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You’re more than all this world can give
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You’re love is all I need to live