I was shown this video about a year ago while I was job-shadowing some social workers. It was incredibly moving, and taught me more about the love that Christ has for us than I had ever understood. Here are a few things that I learned and drew from this video.
Christ gives. He wants to give us things that will make us happy, truly, deeply, and eternally happy. He will point us to the sky, and while we have our backs turned, he will make us a flower. He will build a whole tree just so he can let us take one bite of the fruit. Even if we throw away the rest, if that one bite helped us to feel happy and loved, He will be satisfied. He doesn’t look to take anything away from us, but rather to give us what He has. Even if everyone else tries to take things away from us, or if they give us something and then yank it out of our hands, He won’t do that, unless it’s to give us something better.
Jesus is concerned for us. Even when we walk away and ignore Him, He stands by and watches us. It does hurt Him to watch us hurt, and He keeps His eyes on us no matter where we are. He doesn’t forget about us, He reaches out, and He anxiously waits for us to come back to Him. Have you ever crouched down to be at the same level as a child, so that you can look them in the face and not be an overbearing figure? When we are down on our knees, He will be right there next to us, not standing over us looking down, but down at our level.
Christ is life. He breathes life into us, He shows us life, He is life. The temptations of the world and the trials we go through will push us towards spiritual and physical death, but He has overcome death and “the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ“.
He will not force us to come back to Him. An anonymous poet wrote in 1805, “God will force no man to heaven”. He will reach out, He will plead, He will show His concern, His hand is there when we reach out for it, but if we don’t want to be with Him, then He’s not going to take away our freedom to make that choice. The greatest freedom He has given us is that of choice, and He will never take that away. When we do make the choice to come back to Him, He will be pulling for us and He will push temptations out of the way. He will make it easier to come back than we tend to let ourselves think
Whether we like it or not, Jesus will give us the opportunity to learn how to fight our own battles, but if we fight and push in His direction, He will not let us lose. We will unavoidably lose if we fight our own battles alone, but we must learn how to fight. We must push towards Him with all we have. Even though all we have will never be enough, He recognizes the effort we put in. He will pull and pull us towards Him until we are out of breath. If we fall and stay down it will be because of our own choices; if we reach out to Him when we fall, he is willing and able to knock temptations and fears aside. He will conquer them when we show Him that that’s what we really want.
In another version of this drama, when the girl starts fighting back against all of the temptations, the entire audience just explodes screaming and cheering. Christ does this. He cheers for us when we fight for what’s right and good. And we should cheer ourselves and others on. I can’t imagine what it would be like if every person who was struggling with something (or in other words, all of us) had a personal cheering section shouting “DEFENSE! YOU CAN DO IT!” every time things got rough and sharing in our success with lively celebrations as we work to be better.
Let us kill the fatted calf, bring the best robes to those who are fighting, and cheer them on!