One of my favorite lines out of a song comes from John Mark McMillan’s “How He Loves,” where, as he describes the love of God for humanity, McMillan says that “Heaven meets Earth like a sloppy, wet kiss.”
This song has become a staple worship tune in many church congregations, but that line in particular has made a lot of people uncomfortable. I remember reading a column in the John Brown campus newspaper where the writer expressed gratitude toward David Crowder for changing this kiss to being merely “unforseen,” not sloppy or wet. I can’t remember everything she said, but the gist of it was that she didn’t like anything about God being compared to a French kiss.
My question to her was – and is – what’s so bad about God being a French kisser? Wouldn’t you rather have a God who loves with reckless abandon than a God who always makes sure to refrain from overzealous displays of affection?
Somewhere along the line, we’ve picked up this notion that love is supposed to be clean and easy. We see our romantic comedies where even the awkward moments are endearing, and the most grievous of wrongs can be righted with a heartfelt speech given over swelling music; but that’s not what real love looks like. Real love isn’t something that just happens when you meet a perfect person who’s always charming, pleasant, and otherwise airbrushed.
At least, I sure hope not.
If that’s what love looks like, then when I read I John 4 and find that God is love, my initial response is, “So what?” Anyone can love a perfect person. Anyone can love when love is neat and tidy. God, on the other hand, offers real love:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, NIV)
While we were still broken, messed up people who had made no promises to change, God sent his son to die. Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t a peck on the cheek. It was the sloppiest, wettest French kiss in human history.