I recently asked a friend, “What do you sense your soul needs most in this time of life?” His reply has remained with me, for I imagine many of us share this same longing:


Being accepted by others – with all of our inadequacies or imperfections – is a wonderful gift that lessens our own doubts and insecurities. When we are accepted in a relationship or as part of a greater whole, our self-worth and esteem are bolstered. We are considered good enough, worthy enough to be included.

But God graciously loves us even more than this. God’s love goes beyond merely accepting to genuinely embracing. According to Merriam-Webster, to accept can be as great as “to receive (something offered) willingly” but as little as “to endure without protest or reaction.” To embrace is “to cherish, love, encircle… welcome” and “to take up especially readily or gladly.”

Two weeks ago, I shared a post about the parable of the lost sheep, in which Jesus depicts God as a loving shepherd who will never leave us behind. Jesus tells two additional stories in Luke 15 – the woman who searches for the lost coin, and the father who runs to greet his errant, prodigal son. In all three of these examples, Jesus conveys how God values and treasures us, how God eagerly seeks and reaches for us. God’s love isn’t a patient resignation that we are loved anyway, but an active desire to love us in every way. God isn’t standing there telling us, “I receive and accept you.” God is running for us, saying, “I seek and embrace you.”

Because God’s love reaches out to embrace us, we can then embrace ourselves, one another, and all of life with this same love. We can accept our imperfections, but also embrace them to use for the good of others. We can accept our inadequacies, but also embrace them as vessels to be filled with God’s goodness. We can accept one another, but also embrace one another as beloved of God. We can accept what life brings, but also embrace each moment with gratitude and joy.

May you feel the longing, seeking, reaching, embracing love of God today.
You are cherished.
You are treasured.
You are loved.

http://Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


  1. Accept this, or you play the fool,
    just stupid, but it’s not a sin.
    Don’t argue with a Dremel tool,
    ’cause dude, you ain’t a-gonna win.
    Yeah, I should have clamped the wood
    that I was a-workin’on.
    My grip, it wasn’t very good,
    one mistake and it was gone,
    that whining spinning awful thing
    gyroscoping in my hands
    with a nice sharp bit to bring
    laceration where it lands.
    Dumb I was, not holding tight,
    and boy, this rhyme did hurt to write.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this one, Karen. I love the image in my head of Jesus running after me with his robe flying in the wind! Her telling me to slow down and let his grace and love catch up to me.

    Liked by 1 person

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