Why I Cried For 8 Minutes Straight Yesterday

I shook and cried for all 8:52 of this song the first time I heard it. I was out walking our dog here in Minnesota – fresh snow falling, dog bounding down the trail and tears streaming down my face.

I shook and I wept and I blubbered because I heard the two most significant things every human being on this planet yearns to hear:

  1. You are loved.
  2. You matter.

I’ve spent 39 years on this planet. I’ve suffered deeply. I was abused as a little boy. I watched cancer beat up my dad for more than a decade, killing him when I was 17 years old. I’ve struggled with shame, self-hatred and compulsive overeating most of my life. I’ve hurt others and fallen short in my own life too many times to count.

I write that not as a way to throw myself an online pity party, but rather to say the ONLY thing that has filled that gap, that has healed those wounds, is the type of love Kim Walker-Smith talks about in this song.

This Post is About Your Heart

No matter how much knowledge we can stuff into our skulls, none of it matters if we have a broken heart.

This post isn’t about how to be more effective or efficient at your job. It’s not aimed at helping you sell more or manage your employees more effectively.

It’s about having you ask yourself one question: How’s my heart?

What if you knew there was someone “jealous” for you? Someone who wanted your heart, your love and your attention more than anything else on this planet? Someone who would NEVER give up on you, no matter how many times you turned away and embraced lovers less wild? Someone who would endure torture, suffering and death just for the chance to have you as a companion?

Love changes the world. I don’t think anyone reading this will disagree with that.

Here’s how love changes me: I want to pour out every gift, talent, passion and ounce of energy I have to give anyone within earshot a chance to experience what the singer talks about in this song – an encounter with the LOVE of Jesus Christ.

Like she says at the end of this song, when her voice shakes and emotion overtakes her, if you have an ACTUAL ENCOUNTER with the love of God, you are never the same. You are NEVER THE SAME again after you encounter the love of Jesus Christ.

IMPORTANT: I’m not talking religion, I’m not talking philosophical ideas or thoughts of “why it makes sense.” I’m talking hearing the spirit of Jesus Christ tell me on a concrete path while I’m walking the dog in the middle of January, “I love you. I love you. I know you, I love you, and you mean MORE to me than anything else in the universe! You MATTER to me. I love you. You are my beloved boy. I made this whole world, FOR YOU.

“I made this goofball dog that demonstrates joy, silliness, unconditional love and kindness FOR YOU. I made her JUST FOR YOU to enjoy! I use her to take you on walks to SPEND TIME WITH ME! :)”

It brings tears to my eyes as I write it!

Here’s what I’ve discovered: Jesus is not an idea. He is not a set of sayings. He is not symbol. He is a REAL PERSON, and he loves me so much that he sat in that garden of Gethsemane, troubled beyond words, sweating tears that were like drops of blood, in agony, and begged his beloved father God in heaven to “take this cup of suffering from me!”

But you know what? Because he’s the real deal, because he’s the bravest, most courageous, most loving, most awesome person in the history of history, Jesus Christ did the cross, did the torture, went through it all … for a knucklehead like me! An ungrateful, sinful, wandering, mess of a man named John Nemo! FOR ME! And I know Jesus would have done it even if I wouldn’t have ever loved him back!

Crazy Love

You guys! That is INSANE! Who loves like that? Who sacrifices like that? Who does that for someone else? Who keeps loving me and forgiving me no matter how many times I keep falling and sinning and failing to love him back? (Does the God you believe in act like this?) How can I NOT love this man Jesus? How can I not share this?

I love this quote from C.S. Lewis:

Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.

Here’s the best part of what true Christianity is all about: You cannot earn it. It’s simply a free gift. It’s life-changing love and grace.

And I want to say … thank God! Because I’m a mess. I’m never going to have it all together, no matter how hard I try. Just yesterday, I went to church, heard a message about how important love and patience is with raising our children, and then promptly yelled at my 7-year-old a few minutes after we got home because he went outside without his jacket on in the middle of January here in Minnesota. We were late for hockey practice, I’m the head coach, and I was in a huge hurry because we were running late. I was barking at everyone, snapping like a turtle – a complete jerk.

Another time, we were racing to church on Easter Sunday, late, and I was honking at cars, swerving and cursing at slow drivers. On the way to church. On Easter Sunday. To this day, whenever I honk the horn, my boys joke, “Hey dad, is it Easter Sunday?”

You know why I blubbered on that walk? Because I need grace. More than oxygen, I need grace.

Can you relate?

I cried on that walk, as I heard those words and music in my ears, because I was reminded: You don’t have to get your life together, or follow a set of rules, or read certain books or dress a certain way or anything else. You just get to go to Jesus, right now, right here, ragged mess that you are, and ask, “Do you love me? Do I matter to you?”

And, as Kim Walker-Smith says at the end of this song, when you ask that question, and give your heart time, space and permission to hear a response, brace yourself! Because he’s going to blow into your life and I promise you this: You will never, EVER, be the same!

Here is the song. Do your heart a favor and listen:

 

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