“I wouldn’t give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity… but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.”
—Oliver Wendell Holmes
I heard this quote for the first time in church today, and was also privileged to hear words of hope spoken by a woman from China who professed her faith and was baptized. For her, the message of the gospel was beautiful because it was so simple: Love God, love others, love your enemies. As she explained her pull to this faith as a 36-year-old woman and how compelling the story of that love was for her, I was moved to tears, as were many who listened.
I realized today that most of my tears about God come when I realize that he loves us after all. When we wander, when we curse his name, when we despair, his love is always there, always waiting. And isn’t that all any of us want? To know that someone cares after all, someone loves us and loves others in our pain, someone has always loved us and always will?
It is far beyond the simplicity of a fake smile and a placid reassurance: “Jesus loves you.” It is the simplicity on the other side of complexity for the drug addict, the whore, the psychotic, the housewife, the CEO, the murderer, and the child. It is simplicity earned only because it comes again after more darkness than we ever dreamed possible: “Jesus loves you.” Still. Whether you call him or not. Forever without end. He loves you. He does. And for a deep and soul-stilling understanding of that simplicity, I would gladly give my life. And my tears.