Lisa Joy Samson

Lisa Samson

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
A.W. Tozer

I don’t remember the conversation like it was yesterday. I can’t remember the woman’s name who said words that would change my life forever. What I am positive about is that she was the initial human spark compelling enough for me to seek true intimacy with my Creator.

I’m going to call her Mary.

Mary and I were sitting in her kitchen drinking coffee and going over her manuscript. She was a beautiful writer and at the time her words sang in a way mine weren’t quite able to even though I had been published. Around seven books, historical romances and one stand alone contemporary romance, sat in the realm of my writing accomplishments and though I still had so much to learn about virtually everything, Mary deemed my help valuable. The least I could do was show up and pretend to be helpful.

We veered onto the topic of God as always seems to happen around me and in one sentence a whole new world opened up to me. Mary said this.

“I love God so much.”

I’d heard all my life how we are to love God because God first loved us, how Jesus loved God as his Father. But in all my years of growing up in the church I had not once heard anybody express their love for God in such an intimate, heartfelt way.

“I love God so much.”

Right there in a humble kitchen, the aroma of coffee and the everyday hum of the refrigerator, not to mention the sunlight streaming through café curtains over the porcelain sink, heaven burst from inside of her and surrounded me with an almost too-good-to-believe possibility.

Oh, Mary. Such a simple sentence, such a profound expression, one that changed a thirty-something writer forever.

Mary voiced those words like she would have had she been talking about a husband, a mother, a friend, a child. She spoke in her warm and loving tones about Someone who was worthy of that kind of affection. Not trumpets and genuflection and prostration, but affection. I just love you, God. I really just do.

“I love God so much.”

Mary had found her Creator and her heart sang in response. I heard that song and I realized that day it was my song, too. Or rather, it was the only song I actually longed to sing in fullness and in truth. At that point, it wasn’t really true. I loved God because if I didn’t, heads would roll, and that head would be my own.

But now. Twenty years later, that little willingness to understand what Mary was actually saying and why she could has opened a passageway inside my heart.

I love God so much.

In my journey, this desire has been my personal torch that has lit the way through many a dark passage, burned through confusing mists, and continued to help me hang on despite the challenges of learning how to reflect God’s love for me back to the creation God so adores.

I do love because God first loved me. My love for God is my very proof that God loves me. God, I have found, loves to be loved just like we do. And in that simple communion of affection between the Creator and the created ones, lies a love beyond all telling, a love that overflows, spills down the sides, and lights the way. From the love I feel for my Creator, I experience the love God feels for all of Creation. All of it. Because God is All in All.

Love from Love flowing back and forth in and unto Itself.

I can’t explain it for this has nothing to do with apologetics or reason and everything to do with affection, adoration, and trust. Opening my heart to love the Creator as Mary did, changed me forever.

“I love,” is my creed, not “I believe.” For love is what belief aspires to someday become in the hearts that thirst for their Creator.

Thank you, Mary, for opening your heart and showing me that loving God can be as real as loving anything we can see with our eyes or touch with our hands.

There was no embarrassment, no fear in the proclamation of her heart, she was simply telling the truth without shame. I saw a heart that truly loved God, and I wanted in.

I look back on my journey of faith and wonder where the journey truly began when I decided I was all in, no matter what. I thought it was about fifteen years ago. Then about eighteen. But right there in Mary’s kitchen is the new “new beginning” for me. I suspect the beginning will keep moving backward until the day I was born and perhaps before.

God has proven to me over and over again that love isn’t wasted, that when I truly trust and allow my love for God full expression the world changes for I see it more and more as God does, little by little, each foot forward.

I just love you so much, God. Like Mary. And like Mary, I’m so filled with joy that You love me, too.

In kitchens and car rides, sitting alone in chairs or around a table, God shows up to love and be loved because God is love, and wherever love shows up, God is.

(c)2023 Lisa Joy Samson