A Holy Haunting


I am haunted by words.

Like monsters in a Haunted House, words jump out at me when I least expect it. Whether I’m reading, researching, listening, or singing, suddenly a word or phrase leaps off the page and holds me captive, making it difficult to think of anything else. Once captured, these words take up residence inside my head, stalking me relentlessly, regardless of where I go or what I do.

While this lurking and lurching of words is at times unsettling, it is quite often a holy haunting I find myself in need of.

For weeks now, I have been chased down and overcome by the beyond breathtaking words in the song Reckless Love. I don’t know if the writers salted them with some sort of subliminal something, or if God just thought I needed a good soul shaking, but I cannot get away from these words,

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

(written by Cory Asbury, Caleb Culver, and Ran Jackson)

Without meaning to, I keep singing this chorus over and over liked a crazed woman who only knows four lines of vocabulary. And although I have repetitively pondered the truth these lyrics contain, wiped away a great many tears of gratitude, and often said thank You to God for stalking me with reminders of His furious love...it appears that’s not all God wants.

God has used considerable ink in Scripture to try to explain how much He loves us, so clearly He wants us to regularly relish His love. And I am confident there are a great many reasons why. But now that I’ve been freshly undone by His love for me personally, He keeps reminding me of a particular Scripture passage, adding it to the song lyrics already rattling around inside my crowded head,

A new command I give you:
Love one another. As I have loved you,
so you must love one another. – John 13:34 (emphasis mine)

Seriously God? A double haunting??

Yes, God loves us with an overwhelming, never ending, reckless love.” A love that woos and pursues us, that we cannot be separated from, that has absolutely nothing to do with our performance or worthiness, that forgives and forgets our shortcomings, comforts us when we need it, and sacrifices for us to the point of going to the cross  and coming back for us again. He alone truly loves you and I with a forever kind of love.

But...one of the many reasons He wants His overwhelming love to completely captivate and hold us hostage is this:

God wants us love others like He loves us.

Wow. We, my friend, are in desperate need of regular reminders of how He loves us if there is any hope of us ever loving one another like that.

We are selfish and self-centered, lazy, overworked, demanding, whiny, judgemental, imperfect perfectionists who demand from one another what we will not and cannot give in return. We perform good deeds to be noticed and thought well of, rather than out of humble gratitude for what God has done for us. We long for recognition and will toot our own horns if we feel others are not doing it loudly and often enough. We never have, do not now, nor will we in the future ever deserve His love.

And yet, He loves us anyway.

As we wrap up our month’s emphasis on missions, I am reminded anew that living missionally is more than just a mission statement, collection of good deeds, trip to a third world country, or special offering at our home church. Living missionally is as complicated and as simple as this.

We must love others like He loves us.

God, help us. This is Your mission for us, but it is one we cannot do. We cannot love one another like You love us. We just don’t have what it takes within in us. But wait...we must...we do if we have YOU! As Christ-followers, we take You and Your supernatural, God-sized love with us wherever we are. Shake us, God. Remind us that we are not walking through this dark world alone. Stalk and stay on us with reminders of how you love us personally. Help us to remember what we are so prone to ignore, accept, and forget. Surprise us at every turn with the height, depth, width, and wonder of Your love for our underserved selves. And please God, love through us like only You can.

We are in desperate need of Your Holy Haunting.


Meet the Author!

Bible teacher, author, inspirational speaker and disciple-maker, Vickey Banks is passionate about helping women connect the dots between God’s Word and their everyday lives. She loves serving as Women’s Ministry Director at Council Road, celebrating her people, playing with her puppy and getting lost in a good story.