I hung up the phone with my friend, her words echoing across my mind and heart. I’ve thought about her words hundreds of times since she said them to me last November. “There is no such thing as too much love,” she said. “Only a lack of it.”
I have fought the fear of too-much-ness my whole life. I’ve felt too loud, too different, too eccentric, too weird, too awkward, too strong-willed, too passionate. I have felt like I needed to withhold love if only to protect my too-soft heart from ever breaking. But my friend’s words pierced something within me, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake them.
What if there’s no such thing as too much?
I think about my sister and the love she has for her kids. Whenever my niece or nephew fall, their cries swelling in the room, my sister goes to them. I’ve watched her do this hundreds of times. She’ll scoop them into her arms, intertwining her body with theirs, bringing them close. She holds them as tight as she can, and slowly their crying stops and their breathing deepens.
She draws near to them, as close as she can possibly get. She can never get too close. Her love for them is never too much.
God does the same with us. Like a mother hearing the cry of her child, God came ever close. God – who formed the stars with His hands and sprinkled galaxies we’ll never even know about – allowed His body to grow within the body of a teenage girl, the closest fathomable human connection, bodies tangled and intertwined together.
God drew near, as close as anyone could possibly get. As His muscles and lungs and fingernails formed in her womb, He drew nearer to dwell with us. He came to all who lacked. Jesus often seemed to surround Himself with poor and unspectacular people. A teenage girl. A step-dad who wanted to choose divorce. A group of shepherds whose names we never even learn.
They all lacked, and yet He came closer. Their lack was never something to keep Jesus at bay. He can never get too close. His love is never too much.
If you are lacking, or if you feel too much, know that God is not held back. He comes closer and closer. He hears your cries. He holds your hand. He wants to sit with you as you tell Him your story, as you pour out your fears, as you lean your head against His chest. He is as close as the skin on your body, as close as the air that you breathe. He comes nearer and nearer and nearer still. Having or being or offering enough is not a prerequisite for nearness with God. He has always been coming closer and closer. He always had a plan to dwell with us. He is always near.
There is no such thing as too much love, only a lack of it. But here’s the thing: Jesus lacks nothing. And with Him dwelling within you, you don’t lack anything either.
When it feels like I don’t have anything to offer God, when I come to Him with nothing but empty hands and a worn-out heart, He takes my lack and gives me something in return: far more love than I could ever fathom.
It’s more than I could ever deserve. But with God, I can step past my fears of too-much and step into the abundance He offers me.
He pours out His love, lavishing it. In our lack, He comes closer and closer still.