In recent years I’ve been learning a great deal about the importance of attachment. Attachment in the Scriptures is called “hesed” or “chesed” in Hebrew. It’s love that sticks like glue, steadfast love like the connection between you and God, like a mother and father with their children, between a healthy married couple or between close friends. It happens when the deepest part of us connects with the deepest part of someone else and sticks like glue.
Here’s what I have learned: We are shaped and transformed much more by who we love than what we believe. Without secure attachment love there is no real transformation.
In the book, Renovated, by Dr. Jim Wilder, Dr. Wilder talks about the new understanding that the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ is really a new attachment with God! Wow – that is huge.
I resonate with that deeply because of my own experiences with God. I’ll tell you about one that happened when I was 8 or 9 years old.
My dad was a good dad in many ways, a good provider, an ethical and moral person, a hard worker. But he had grown up without a dad in the Great Depression and WW2 era, the son of a 16 year old mom who wasn’t mature enough to raise a child. His childhood was really hard. Consequently he had a lot of smoldering anger inside. That anger would regularly erupt like a volcano when I was a child growing up on an Ohio farm in a family of 5 kids.
One day after one of those episodes I was sitting on the couch feeling very lost, confused and hurt, wondering what on earth this was all about. I remember that moment like it was yesterday.
Suddenly I heard a voice like a loudspeaker in my head. I knew it was God’s voice. He said:
“Your dad has a problem, it is not your fault and you will find a better way.”
Instantly the anxiety and pain I was feeling dissipated! I felt seen, heard, known and loved. In my heart I knew that this was my Father in heaven speaking and that He was inviting me to have a relationship with him. He was the better way, and I knew if I stuck with Him I would find it.
At that moment, I believe I attached to God as my Father. I wasn’t born again then, that came 10 years later. But this is when I switched my most powerful attachment connection to God my Father. I still was attached to my dad of course, but I had that connection with God himself to help me when he couldn’t be there for me the way I needed. We all need that deep attachment with God – parents can’t fill the void which that relationship with Him fills.
That same week I heard God’s voice for the first time, something happened to confirm what had just happened to me.
Our beagle dog Jake had gone hunting in the woods and apparently eaten a mother quail. In their distress at not having a mother to attach to, they attached to the first thing they could see – our dog Jake! He came trotting into our yard followed by a line of baby quail chicks. (Never mind that he had just eaten their mother!) It just showed how fundamental that need to attach really is.
When I saw this, I knew it was a picture in nature of what had just happened to me. I had switched my primary father attachment to my Father in heaven. He was safe, he would be able to offer me that unfailing love (hesed) I so desperately needed, that we ALL so desperately need!
That attachment with God held me and spared me many troubles I could have gotten into, helped me to find that better way.
Ten years later when I was in college at Miami U. (of Ohio), I experienced the miracle of salvation. I was born again in January of 1974 in Cincinnati, OH at evangelist Tom Skinner’s meeting. I finally heard the gospel, the invitation to receive the free gift of salvation, the new attachment with God offered by Jesus Christ!
What God has wanted all along is a renewed attachment relationship with us, his creation. It’s never been about religion or some kind of legal transaction. He’s always wanted us to know His unfailing, steadfast love so we can be transformed into the people He intended us to be all along. His love sticks to us like glue, nothing can ever separate us from it!
“For I am sure that neither death not life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present not things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” Romans 8:38, 39 ESV
With love and prayers,