Dear Friends,

You are beloved.

"You are beloved."

This is the heartbeat of the Good News of Jesus Christ. These are the words God poured down upon Jesus at his baptism. And these is what Jesus told us in words and actions all his life. And in the giving of his whole life, right to the end, Jesus cast this truth forward across history like a blanket of perfect holy warmth.

This week, for no particular reason that I can identify, I had one of those acute moments when I just needed to soak this truth up again. I needed to marinate in it. Fortunately, I had a friend with whom I could sit, and say, "You know what, I am perfectly loved." And then for a minute I was just silent and soaking that up trustingly, as my friend quietly witnessed and affirmed, by her simple presence, God's love flowing through me.

My closed eyes were rimmed with tears as my whole body relaxed into that flow of love. It felt like a fresh breeze blowing through the house. Sort of warm and cool at the same time. That breeze helped me let go of anxieties, hold fast to images of the people who surround me with love, and open up to the next little steps that God hopes for me.

And though my acute need drove me to seek a Friend in Christ to help me reclaim my belovedness, I know I'll be lifted up by remembering my belovedness on the 'regular' days too.

Whatever your level of need is today, I pray that for a few seconds or a few minutes just now, the Breeze of Christ would caress your own spirit as well. My dear dear friends, we are so loved by our Creator; with a love that is not once-upon-a-time, but now, within us for the living of this day.

"Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end."

                     (John 13:1b, speaking of Jesus at his last meal with is friends)

Which is to say, loved them out into every moment and place they would go and have gone. And we are among his own. Beloved.

With Delighted and Ever-deepening Astonishment,