As part of my daily routine, I pray using the PDA version of Sacred Space during lunch. Because the lunch room at work is noisy, I listen to music as background noise to help keep my focus. Generally, I don't notice the music much. Today, I happened to be listening to John Fahey's Return of the Repressed.
The scripture reading for today on Sacred Space was John 3:16-17, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." Generally, it's hard to hear such a familiar verse with fresh ears. Today, what spoke to me were the words "God so loved".
It's far too easy to slip into thinking of Jesus in terms of doctrine or proclamation. It's much harder, for me at least, to actually connect with Jesus in terms of the love of God. I don't mean to see Jesus' life as an expression of God's love, but rather to actually feel loved by God when thinking of Jesus. That is, it's hard for me to connect to it personally.
So today I was ruminating on these things, and I prayed for God to give me the grace to make this kind of personal connection. About that time, I noticed the song playing in my earplugs. It was "The Sea of Love." Now, the Fahey album is instrumental, but this song has just the right mix of familiarity and simplicity so that the lyrics flow in my mind when I hear the music.
Call me sappy, if you must. Say I'm reading to much into a coincidence, if you must. But I was touched. And so I just sat silently and listening, imagining Jesus was sitting there with me playing this song for me (and perhaps laughing at me just a bit).
And then when the song was over I said a concluding prayer as the next song started, like the music accompanying the credits after a movie. The next song? "Yes, Jesus Loves Me"!