“He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me…. “
As a little girl, when I had a crush on a boy, I would play the daisy game. With each ‘he loves me’ the anticipation grew. But, as I neared the end, if it looked like it was going to end on ‘he loves me not’ I would throw the faulty daisy to the ground and start all over with a new one. Seems to me, as I recall it, that sometimes I would pull two petals at a time, if I grew impatient, just to get to the end faster. However, if it seemed to be in my favour, I would go back to removing petals one at a time just to hear ‘he loves me’. Having heard what I wanted to hear, that I am loved, I would skip away happily.
It occurred to me recently that I used to play the daisy game with God. Unfortunately when I landed on ‘He loves me not’ I actually believed it. It wasn’t as simple as moving on until I ended with ‘He loves me’. I thought of my salvation as a fragile petal that could be plucked at will when something wasn’t right in my life. If I sinned or was angry, for example, a petal would fall and the echo in my heart would proclaim a resounding ‘He loves me not’. I didn’t have the courage to grab the next petal, clutch it in my hand and say “He loves me! Yes He does!” Instead I sank in defeat and as I did all the petals began to scream “He loves me not!” The moment I repented or had a happy-mood-swing, I felt loveable and claimed the next ‘he loves me’ petal, but they were fewer and farther in between with the passing of time.
My expectation at age 12, when I first ‘responded’ at Revival Meetings, following a hell fire and brimstone message, was that God would make me good. I thought He would miraculously make me perpetually joyful, obedient and victorious. As days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months and months turned to years, I discovered that the miracle cure didn’t work. Terrified of hell I would keep trying but with no one to disciple me in my faith or mentor me, I became discouraged and by age fifteen I took the daisy and stomped on it. The hope of being loveable was gone.
I left home a month before I turned sixteen and spent the next two years ripping bouquets of daisies out of God’s hand and shredding the petals. Hurt, angry and desperately searching for love, I ran as far from God as I could, grabbing broken petals as I ran and begging for just one that would tell me I was loved.
A month after my eighteenth birthday I had a profound revelation through the story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery. As He spoke the words “neither do I condemn you” something happened in my spirit. In that instant I realized that every petal on every daisy I ripped from His hand and shredded said “I love you”.
God doesn’t play the daisy game. The moment we receive Him as our Lord and Saviour we are saved. Our salvation does not rise and fall, based on our humanity, nor our perfection or the lack of it.
The petals in His daisy bouquet simply say: “He loves me. He loves me lots!”