Picking out cards is hard. This afternoon, walking the aisles of Target to buy Emma a Bengals shirt (WHO DEY!), I remembered I hadn’t gotten Sara a Valentine’s Day card yet. Call it a whispering of the Holy Spirit. (Sometimes, God decides to save our lives through the little nudges.) Needless to say, I walked a few aisles over and started browsing through literally hundreds of the sappiest cards on the planet.
I despised them all.
I have a philosophy about buying cards. They either have to say something obviously true about the person getting the card or about the person giving the card. If my best friend says, “Ha! That’s totally a Jason card. What a doofus!”, it’s just as good as if he says, “Oh, dearest Jason, you know me so well!” Sadly, neither of those was on display this afternoon at Target. Hundreds of cards before me, and I was striking out on each and every one of them.
Until I saw this beauty:
This is pure Hentschel household. We’ve basically written the book on “what to eat in” when you can’t figure “where to eat out.” And yelling, “What?” from the other room? That’s become so common around here that we started screaming it in Spanish to add some variety to our lives. ¡¿Que?!
My favorite thing about this card, though, is the line on the inside: “I love the everyday moments that make being us my favorite thing ever.” Love, after all, really is all about the ordinary. That’s the big bold message of Jesus’ incarnation, which Paula D’Arcy wonderfully describes as God “coming to us disguised as our life.” God loves us so much that he becomes human because he wants to enjoy charcoal breakfasts with us on the seashore (John 21:9-14). When Lazarus died, Jesus literally wept because he’d lost a good friend. This is the stuff of ordinary life. It’s also the subtle message of those really boring genealogies we find in the Old Testament and part of the point of entire books like Leviticus, which no one can ever seem to make it through. They’re boring because they’re all about the ordinary.
Why does God care about the ordinary? Because that’s where we are, and that’s where love happens. Richard Rohr puts this well: “One foundational and yet revolutionary idea of the Bible is that God is manifest in the ordinary, in the actual, in the daily, in the now, in history, in the concrete incarnations of life. God does not hold out for the pure, the spiritual, the right idea, or the ideal anything.” God cares more about you and your life — in all its great ordinariness — than about anything else. We often say, “Give all glory to God!” And that is absolutely true! But God’s glory is made most manifest in God’s love! And that love came down as Jesus to share in and redeem our everyday, ordinary lives. Amen to that!