“God seems kind of crazy.”

A couple of nights ago as I was reading the kids their Bible story, Emily came out with this slightly irreverent/possibly blasphemous-sounding statement. At first I didn’t know how to respond. Neither of my kids had ever before gone so far as this.

What made Emily question God’s sanity? We were reading the story of the conversion of Saul and his subsequent call by God to be the apostle to the Gentiles, the messenger of Jesus to all the nations. As our story pointed out in simple language, here was one who had spent a great deal of energy attacking the followers of Jesus, trying to stop the early Christians from gaining a foothold. But Jesus met Saul one day en route to some more terrorizing, turned Saul’s life in a new direction, and told him that he was the one God had chosen to deliver the good news throughout the pagan world.

It was when we came to that commissioning that Emily spoke up: “God seems kind of crazy.”

It does seem crazy to take a Saul, an anti-Christian (and a lively—deadly, maybe—one at that), and call him to be the greatest missionary in Christian history. It seems crazy to be willing to forgive Saul his past, period, let alone place him in the centre of your plans for the world.

It seems crazy, but it’s what God did. It seems crazy, but it’s what God does still. He takes people who are in a mess, and probably busy making more of a mess, and he not only extends a loving hand but allows them to be his partners in his work.

No, Emily, God isn’t crazy. But he does love you, and me, with a pretty extravagant, crazy love.