Belief doesn’t come easily to me. I tend to expect the worst, while hoping for the best.

Because of this trait, my husband thinks of me as a pessimist.

I, however, prefer to think of myself as a realist with pessimistic undertones.

Getting on with the point of all this, last year I found myself resting in a soaking prayer room of a (somewhat) local church. The soundtrack was a monologue from an unknown preacher speaking on the goodness of God. Now, to reiterate, I do not believe easily. It’s not that I doubt the probability of God’s goodness, I just don’t understand it (Which is probably why God’s attempts to convince me of it have grown so desperate as to employ squirrels).

The monologue went on for a good 20 minutes. Toward the end, the orator explains how he became convinced of God’s goodness, saying “I know, because God has been relentlessly and deliberately kind to me every day of my life. I literally expect to see the goodness of God every single day and I am never disappointed.”

This struck me. It had never occurred to me that this could happen.

Shortly thereafter, on our way to go Christmas shopping in Marshalls, I remembered his words. So, I asked God: “I want to see your love today. I accept that I should look for it, but please help me to see it and not miss it.”

While rounding a corner in the store, I came to an impasse with the most jolly, adorable-looking person I’ve seen in years: He was old, probably around 80, wearing a long black wool coat and a matching taxi cap. He would have been probably 5’7” or 8” except that he was hunched over a good deal, making him shoulder-high to my 5’5” frame. He smiled impishly at me, chirping “oops!”, as I moved to let him pass. In only 3 seconds, I’d fallen head-over-heels for this absolutely precious little man with an actual, true-to-life twinkle in his eyes.

I continued to watch as he and his wife shopped (presumably for Christmas gifts, as well). Every item he picked up, he seemed to take it all in for its potential: imagining the taste of every box of candy, the comfort of a pair of mittens, and giggling like a child with every funny Christmas card he saw. He was truly glad to be alive, thrilled by everything around him.

I didn’t have a clue what to do with the sudden swell of affection I had for this gentleman, but I was enjoying it.

It wasn’t until Matt and I were on our way home that the truth began to sink in. I’d asked for God’s love and I’d found it. At first I didn’t quite understand, because I wanted to experience, I reasoned, how God loved ME. Instead, I saw how God loved HIM.

I was then (politely) reminded of my nature.

“What would you have done, if I’d showered my affection on you?” the voice said.

And then I realized. I would have reduced the “showering” to mere chance. A gracious whim of the ‘verse.

But, because I felt the depth, joy, and gravity of His affection for someone I had no “reason” to love, I believed.