Thursday, May 14, 2009

Me & Mr. Smiley Face

Stopped at an intersection recently, I glanced at a bumper on the left and there it was—Mr. Smiley Face. I can’t begin to estimate how many times I have seen that yellow button: on a bumper, on a shirt, on a wall, on a sign, and now it accompanies emails as an animated “emoticon.”

Smiley is everywhere.

This Smiley was accompanied by that common phrase, “Smile, God loves you!” And I thought, “How cute. How corny.” But in the next moment it occurred to me that I should think about it.

God loves me. God loves me. God loves me. And in a moment I was completely and wonderfully overwhelmed. For the next few minutes I had revival in my car. I hadn’t been aware that I needed it, but God sure was.

I fancy myself to be one of the gurus on God’s love, a major player in telling the church and the world how well off we are because God loves. And I had somehow forgotten that God loves me. He doesn’t put up with me, He doesn’t consider me a bother, He’s not disturbed when I barge into His throne room—He loves me.

God loves me.

That’s the biggest influence of my life, and it would only make sense that that knowledge is one of the primary targets of the devil. Think what comes from knowing God’s love—love for others, obedience, a variety of godly works, a true perspective of the world and its inhabitants, and hope—authentic hope.

As far as I’m concerned, I live from the knowledge of God’s love for me. You too?

Smile, God loves you!


  1. Anonymous4:21 AM

    oh, ralph, when i read your treat-us re mr smiley face, my face and heart smiled a big smile. i was taught by the teacher of all teachers (to me) re God's love and God's grace; a true guru of God’s Grace. Like him, I also was "swept up to Him by His beauty". I was forever forgiven, forever a new creation-once for all time.
    Yet there were times when i could see that the reality of God's absolute, never-changing, never-failing love for us, God’s magnificent heart for us had temporarily escaped the guru. i didn't understand this.
    years have now passed and if one gets too close to me, they'll hear about God's heart for them. they will hear of His heart of love and not condemnation for them.
    they’ll hear “for God didn’t send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world might be saved by Him”.
    yet i also find that my flesh still cannot understand, cannot comprehend this magnificent love of God’s for us, for me. it continually questions this in light of it’s knowledge of me. “you know you should have done this and you didn’t. you definitely shouldn’t have done that and you did it anyway. why, when’s the last time you picked up your Bible, let alone read it? if you had the kind of faith that you should have, you would be well.
    I was wallowing in that state when i began to read your mr. smile face. And I was reminded of that wonderful verse “and the life that I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God (not me) who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
    from: so much better off than one can possibly imagine

  2. What a fantastic note! It's in my top 5 ever.

    Thanks for building me up.


  3. Anonymous1:23 PM

    Ralph, thanks for this. It's excellent - sent it to all my young lovelies.