Anne Lamott wrote that, "The secret is that God loves us exactly the way we are...and that he loves us too much to let us stay like this." Think of a father teaching a toddler to walk. She loves crawling and is content, but her dad keeps lifting her up and waving his hands forward. Over and over she falls and over and over he lifts her up. Somewhere inside her little mind, she begins to question – why is he doing this? what’s wrong with me? why can’t things go back to the way they were? does my dad still love me? It won’t be until she takes her first step that she discovers the answer. Of course her dad loved her, in fact, it was precisely because of his love that he continued lifting her up, not despite it. It works the same way as we make our ascent to God. We don’t lose God’s love when we stumble or trip or stray from the path. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. But that doesn’t mean God’s love is a purely sentimental thing. There is tough-love too. God’s love woos and it weans, it draws and it drives, it pulls and it pushes. God wants more for us, but he won’t pour it on our heads or give it to us automatically. That would short-circuit the character forming process and more importantly, betray our humanity.