Listening to Whitney Houston's stunning version of 'I will always love you' this morning set me thinking. Most of the time I'm just aware of the melody when I listen to songs, although I know some people who focus on the lyrics, but this morning it was her sung words hit me, 'I will always love you'.
Tragically Whitney's life ended so prematurely and in in such a sad way, with a long tale of broken relationships, drug addiction and others who took advantage of her fame and wealth. It was the lasting nature of love that eluded her. At the close of a long article in Vanity Fair from May 2012,
written just 3 months after her death, she is quoted as saying,
'I just want to love and be loved, I want to love like Jesus did. Unconditionally'I just want to be loved. Gosh what a constant in every human heart.
Tim Keller is one of my favourite preachers, has a wonderful knack of encapsulating Christianity's essence, which is so helpful and reassuring,
'There's nothing I can do to make God love me more, and nothing I can do to make Him love me less
The gospel says you are more sinful and flawed than you ever dared believe, but more accepted and loved that you ever dared hope'.We sadly, certainly and tragically hurt each other all too often, and I can certainly vouch for that, but the Christian hope is founded upon a God whose love cannot be thwarted. I cannot excel at goodness to earn anymore of his love, but nor can I descend so far into the depths to be separated from it.
In another of Whitney's cracking songs, she belts out, 'I wanna dance with somebody who loves me'. If life is a dance we need look no further for a dance partner than the wandering preacher from Galilee who's love for us is as relentless as the ocean tides. If only that love had sustained Whitney.