Jesus met up with his disciples for breakfast after being dead for three days. He pulled Peter aside- the Peter who hadn’t exactly been a “faithful friend.” In fact, he denied ever knowing Him.
But Jesus didn’t pull away. Instead he pulled Peter in close and asked him, “Do you love me?”
I can’t imagine the brokenness of Peter’s heart. I can’t imagine the cracks crying out, converging on one another. I hear the echo of The Words, “if you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
And my heart begins to shatter.
Peter and I. The muscles that keep our lungs breathing, minds reeling, blood flowing. Our hearts dissolving into dust in perfect synchrony.
And Peter says, “Yes. You know that I do.”
But he didn’t get it. Even after Jesus asked him three times, he still didn’t get it. But Jesus STILL said: Care for my people. Build my church. Love them. Lead them.
The once faithless Peter called to build a community of faith.
This story is shared in only one of the gospels and yet I feel like it’s written on every page of my life. This same question posed over and over and over again.
“Alyssa, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord. You know I like you.”
I don’t get it. I don’t get it. I don’t get it. I don’t get it.
Here I am. Denying not three times, not six times, not twelve. Denying with each beat of my rebellious heart and yet Jesus still says to me: Love them. Forgive them. Care for them. Show them.
He is calling on the broken to bind the broken. He is calling on the wounded to nurse the sick. He is calling on the downhearted to lift the heads of the troubled. He is calling on the often faithless to share their faith.
He is calling on me.