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By Erwin Raphael McManus in SOUL CRAVINGS – PREQUEL, pp. 28ff:

"I once met a girl named Kim, and I fell in love. I pursued her with my love and pursed her with my love until I felt my love had captured her heart. So I asked her to be my wife, and she said no." I could feel their empathy, if not their pity.

"I was unrelenting and asked her again, pursuing her with my love, and I pursued her with my love until she said yes." (There was huge relief throughout the entire room.)

"I did not send my brother, nor did I send a friend. For in issues of love, you must go yourself.

"This is the story of God: He pursues you with His love and pursues you with His love, and you have perhaps not said yes. And even if you reject His love, He pursues you ever still. It was not enough to send an angel or a prophet or any other, for in issues of love, you must go yourself. And so God has come.

"This is the story of Jesus, that God has walked among us and He pursues us with His love. He is very familiar with rejection but is undeterred. And He is here even now, still pursuing you with His love."

The story of Jesus is not about who is right and who is wrong, what God's name is and who his prophet is, but what exactly God's motivation toward humanity is. If the message that God wants to get across to us is just about getting our beliefs right, then he didn't need to come himself. If God's entire intent was to clarify right from wrong, no personal visitation was necessary. If the ultimate end was simply to overwhelm us with the miraculous so that we would finally believe, then even God's taking on flesh and blood and walking among us were far from necessary.

There is only one reason for God to come himself, because in issues of love, you just can't have someone else stand in for you.

When it comes to love, it has to be face-to-face. There has to be contact. Love cannot exist where there is only distance. Love can survive distance, but only by the strength of what comes through intimacy.

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