What, or whom, do you adore?
Your kids, your spouse, your friends? Coffee or chocolate?
We tend to use the word adore and all its iterations rather lightly. “That is just adorable!” we proclaim about anything from a friend’s new outfit to a baby panda video online.
(Warning: I’m about to #WordGeek out on you.)
The adjective adorable has taken some of the steam out of its root verb, adore. Even more so its noun form, adoration.
Adoration sounds much more formal. While adorable is a label for something cute, adoration is given to that which we consider worthy of respect and honor. Something we love deeply.
The unfortunate downside is that we tend to make adoration (especially when speaking about prayer, which, by the way, we’re getting to) more formal, more distant–and therefore, less approachable. We try to come up with theological sounding words. We use the word “attributes” for which we will offer prayers of adoration. We feel obligated to offer them.
God is completely worthy of respect and honor. But the formality and obligation can create a certain distance.
The thing I just love about you…
Have you ever spontaneously responded to a friend, a child, your spouse, by saying, “I just love that about you!’ Perhaps they’ve done something kind, or funny, or well, adorable. Perhaps we notice a character strength, or a sensitivity that reveals a tender side of their personality.
What do you just love about God? And do you spontaneously tell God about that?
Impetuous praise wells up from a heart that notices. When we pay attention to what God is doing, or how God is being, to the messy, raw beauty of the world and its inhabitants, we can let ourselves begin to respond in a new way. When we notice God at work, we can begin to pray specifically but without formality, “The thing I just love about you, God, is…”
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Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home writes: “Real prayer comes not from gritting our teeth but from falling in love.”
Today, as you walk through the world, pay attention. Fall in love with God, and don’t keep quiet about it. Notice what God is up to. Notice goodness, kindness, love, beauty. Give credit where credit is due, with a prayer that could begin, “The thing I just love about you, God, is…”