For the rest of the week, I've had it on constant replay. I just can’t stop listening to it. The words keep crashing over me, driving me straight into the heart of God.
And if you were a fly on my wall, you’d be quite entertained watching me. Whether taking a shower, driving down the road, cooking dinner, or working in the yard - what a sight I must be as I pretend to be Cory, belting out every word, my fist punching into the air, dancing around like a crazy woman.
My heart is wrecked for this reckless love. I want it so desperately- His relentless love and mercy - not just for me, my husband, and my own kids: but for my friends, their husbands, and their kids. For the whole world.
“May God break my heart so completely that the whole world falls in." - Mother Teresa
I recently came across these words from Mother Teresa, and the blogger quoting her wrote, "For me, that’s what it means to be 'wrecked.' To have my heart broken for the people of this world and say, Yes, God, I’m in … over and over again." - Idelette McVicker
It wasn’t until I watched Cory’s live youtube video and listened to him share the story behind his song - that the definition of the word reckless hit me.
The actual definition of reckless means “without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action”.
As I started reading more about this song, I was shocked to find out that Cory’s use of the phrase reckless love in this wildly popular song has caused a bit of a scandal - raising eyebrows and red flags among some Christians, including various church leaders. Their criticism? In one blog I read, “A lot of people have bristled at the song's hook. Should we caricature God's love as reckless?”
I see their point. Words do matter, especially words we use to describe God. I get that.
I also get that no parent wants their kid (or spouse) to live recklessly, “without thinking or caring about the consequences of (their) actions”. This is one of our greatest and most haunting fears.
But the truth is, every single one of us have done things without thinking or caring about the consequence of our actions. Some of those reckless “things” we’ve done are just plain stupid; others, however, would actually be called sins.
And here’s the stumbling block, one we’ve wrestled with since the earliest days of Christianity...
The reckless sin of man brought the reckless love of God - to send His Son to die on a cross to save us from our sins.
Cory describes it this way,
“When I use the phrase, ‘the reckless love of God’, I’m not saying that God Himself is reckless. I am, however, saying that the way He loves, is in many regards, quite so. What I mean is this: He is utterly unconcerned with the consequences of His actions with regards to His own safety, comfort, and well-being... His love bankrupted heaven for you. His love doesn’t consider Himself first. His love isn’t selfish or self-serving. He doesn’t wonder what He’ll gain or lose by putting Himself out there. He simply gives Himself away on the off-chance that one of us might look back at Him and offer ourselves in return."
When I listen to that song, I feel an adrenaline shot in my arm, a complete saturation of my heart, an engulfing fire in my spirit. It truly is “overwhelming” - to take in what the reckless love of God drove Him to do for me and for all of us, including our precious children, especially those who are hurting or lost.
I believe Cory’s song has a uniquely transforming impact on us as parents… because the more consumed and charged we become by the reckless love of our Father, the more consumed and charged we become to pray for our kids to experience that love for themselves.
I love the story of the reckless love of a father in the Bible, and his fierce determination to chase down Jesus for his beloved child. I LOVE this story, because it reveals the reckless intervention of love… not only what our Heavenly Father was willing to do, but what a human father was willing to do - all for the love of his child.
Jesus went back across to the other side of the lake. There at the lakeside a large crowd gathered around him. Jairus, an official of the local synagogue, arrived, and when he saw Jesus, he threw himself down at his feet and begged him earnestly, “My little daughter is very sick. Please come and place your hands on her, so that she will get well and live!” (Mark 5:21-23)
I imagine this man Jairus. His precious child was dying. (According to Matthew’s gospel, she had already died.) He obviously knew about Jesus’ healing power and love, and he must have heard he was nearby.
His reckless love led him to desperately reckless measures.
To use Cory’s words, Jairus was “utterly unconcerned with the consequences of his actions with regards to his own safety, comfort, and well-being.” He left his house and took off - to chase down Jesus. He had no assurance he would find him, or what would happen if he did. That didn’t matter. He ran to find Jesus, and he didn’t stop until he found Him. And when he did, he threw himself at Jesus’ feet, begging Him to heal his daughter.
His reckless love for his child compelled him to chase down the reckless love of God.
Jesus went with Jairus, but on the way to his home, “some messengers came from Jairus' house and told him, ‘Your daughter has died. Why bother the Teacher any longer?’ Jesus paid no attention to what they said, but told him, ‘Don’t be afraid, only believe.’"(Mk. 5:35-36)
You can imagine these messengers probably told Jairus the same thing before he even left, “Why bother the Teacher?” Jairus didn’t pay any attention to them, and neither did Jesus. Instead Jesus spoke right into the heart of this terrified father, “Don’t be afraid, only believe.”
Fear feeds caution and doubt. Faith feeds bold and reckless love, willing to risk it all for the one we love.
No one will ever chase down Jesus for your child like you will. No one. And your prayer is a reckless intervention that has the power to unleash the torrents of God’s love, His power and healing!
Jairus’ daughter was sick; she was dying in a bed, and she couldn’t get herself to Jesus on her own. But her father could. That little girl couldn’t advocate for herself. But her father could. And he sure did.
Our children may not be dying physically; they may not be sick or confined to a bed. But they all need His healing love, and often there’s something preventing them from getting to Him. Maybe it’s because they’re too young to call on Him themselves; or maybe they can’t see what they need, or maybe they don’t even want what He has to give.
But we see it. And just like Jairus, we can throw ourselves at Jesus’ feet, and beg Him to come and place His hands on them, that they might get well and live!
As a mom, I’ll gladly be wrecked for this reckless love; willing to chase down Jesus no matter the cost - no matter what I’ll gain or lose by putting myself out there. I’ll keep fighting, on the off-chance that the one Jesus is already fighting for, might look back at Him and offer themselves in return.
In a heartfelt message to his listeners, Cory says about his song, “I hope it brings you into an encounter with the wildness of His love.”
Sisters, I do too.