The One Thing God Can’t Do

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a]neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:38-39

Do you believe this?

I had never given it much thought before today, until reading this quote from today’s homily from Pope Francis.

“The gift is God’s love, a God who can’t sever himself from us. That is the impotence of God.  We say: ‘God is all powerful, He can do everything!” Except for one thing: Sever Himself from us! In the gospel, that image of Jesus who weeps over Jerusalem, helps us understand something about that love. Jesus wept! He wept over Jerusalem and that weeping is all about God’s impotence: his inability to not love (us) and not sever himself from us.” [source]

There is one thing God can’t do: not love us.

Startling but true! That intense love is extended to every single person that ever was. It is up to each person to decide for him or herself whether to accept or reject that love.

Think about the times you may have deliberately run from God. There was something you saw, thought, and immediately decided in your heart to do or say, purposely ignoring the little voice of truth within. Realize that in those times we are actively choosing to reject God’s wisdom and therefore His love for us.

However, thanks to that amazing love, we have a new opportunity to accept every moment. Nothing from our past is so bad that we cannot reach out and accept His gift.

A party becomes a mission field

I dreaded going out to the party last night. Back home I practically never go out at night because I have a job that requires an extremely early start time. In addition to that, I don’t really care for being around large groups of people who are drinking. It’s just not my favorite thing; I much prefer a book, or at the most, hanging out with 1 or 2 people. But not a huge house party, and not with people I don’t know. But while I’m on vacation with my friend, I am hardly in a position to say no to a party.

Not wanting to have a miserable night waiting for it to end, I decided to ask God to give me a purpose for being there, and to minister to whomever he put in my path. Which is silly because he does that all the time. But I just tried to be aware of it, and as always, He came through!

I spent some time talking with 3 different girls during the course of the party. I don’t remember all of their names, but one was from Colombia, one from Argentina, and one who had just moved here from Santa Monica (talking to someone from LA made me feel much more at home!). They all had vastly different stories but all struggled with similar pains: moving away from home, and trying to figure out how to fit in. I didn’t have giant pearls or wisdom or anything, but I ministered, as the varied grace of God permitted (1 Pet 4:10) which means I gave them my whole attention and listened. The one girl from Colombia said she desired to find a church community. I found her a bunch on my iphone, and then because we’re in the South, and she’s Catholic, she asked me my opinion on the general religion in this area.

I would say in general the US is probably more protestant, but in the South, it’s even more so. Then she went on to ask what the difference was. This is the second time I’ve had the opportunity to explain the difference. Not wishing to persuade her for my own agenda by making one sound attractive and the other unattractive, I simply stuck to the basics of salvation, nothing more. It can get very convoluted if you hang on to the details, and this is something I have and still have a hard time with but at the root, it’s like this. Protestants believe you are justified as soon as you believe in Jesus’ grace; Catholics believe you are only justified if, after living a life of faith and works (which of course are not possible on your own), you die in the state of grace.

It’s crazy to think that God had planned it from the beginning, that little ole me, who is so ignorant and so struggling, could fly 2,000 mi away from home just to be a listening ear to someone who wanted to find a church but didn’t quite know where to start. I’m pretty comfortable finding a church wherever I am and just going by myself. It was wonderful to share that confidence with someone else. Praying for many more opportunities like that this week!