The song “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury has grabbed my heart and won’t let go. It has pushed me to dig deep into passages of scripture that talk about how much God loves us, chases us, and gives sacrificially for us. It has caused me to stop and look at my own life and evaluate if I love others recklessly, with abandon, when loving doesn’t make sense, for this is how God loves me. The song has rocked me to the core in such a way that I finally did something I’ve been wanting to do for about ten years. I got my first tattoo. Call it a “David McDonald wanna be moment” (David is my home church pastor and anyone in their right mind wants to be more like him because he follows Jesus with all he’s got and he’s very proud of his tattoos), or a “I will prove to my son I can do this moment” (my son is covered in tats and puts them on people on a regular basis) or a “I will prove to myself I can do this” moment, (because sometimes we just need to do that) but regardless, the deed is done. What David didn’t tell me and my son didn’t prepare me for was how to respond when your tattoo artist, after completing the tattoo says, “Oh ****, I made two e’s”. No joke. I looked down at my arm and it said “Reekless Love” instead of “Reckless”. My first reaction was to scream “no way” but my gut told me to stay calm because crying like a baby wasn’t an option. So I didn’t scream, I didn’t yell, I didn’t even cry, all I said was, “how are we going to fix this?” After a series of options that sounded extremely painful, we – by we, I mean me – decided to opt for the least painful option and just make all the letters wider so the loop on the second “e” would fill in and the “e” would become the “c” it was intended to be. It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done.
I woke up the next morning and looked down at my arm and thought, “I should love this, but I don’t.” And then I felt the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit and I was reminded of a conversation I had with David about 6 years ago in the library of Spring Arbor University. I was sharing with him something God had been nudging my heart with. God had been challenging me to do something for the women in our town who worked in the strip clubs. The problem was I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to serve them. I didn’t know where to begin. I didn’t know what that ministry could, should or would look like. I didn’t know if they would accept me. I didn’t know. I was full of insecurity, questions and doubts. In my moment of pouring out my heart, David said to me, “Robin, why do you have to know how it will turn out? Why do you have to know every detail? If God is telling you to do something, just be obedient and do it. You will fail. So what. You will mess up. So what. Learn from it. Fix what you can. Change it up. And go back again. Love is messy. Get messy. Go.”
David was right. I’m so thankful he encouraged me that day to get out of my head, to get over myself and to go show reckless love. I grabbed my friends, we put together gifts and we started to show up at the strip clubs. We didn’t have a clue what we were doing but we knew that Jesus called us to love recklessly, so we loved. We loved hard. We loved by listening. We loved by showing up. We loved by hugging when hugs were needed, laughing when laughs were needed and just being silent when silence was needed. What I learned was that love is messy because people are messy. Love is reckless because that’s how God love’s us. Don’t misunderstand reckless. His love is not careless, it’s not given without thought, it’s not foolish, but it is reckless. God’s love goes out of it’s way. It loves hard. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t give up. It loves through mistakes. This is love. This is how God loves us – we screw up, we are messy, we fail and God goes right back in. He loves us relentlessly, recklessly, with abandon, extravagantly, overwhelmingly. This is the reckless love of God. And God loves us recklessly, because He is good. Even if things don’t go as planned, I will see God’s goodness because God is good and His goodness is not dependent on my actions, my perfection, my anything. God is good.
I look down now and I love my tattoo because it reminds me that God, who recklessly loves me has called me to recklessly love others. My e/c reminds me that my love won’t be perfect, I will mess up, I will make mistakes, but God is able to fix that, heal that, clean that up and I just need to keep on loving because that is exactly what God has done for me. It reminds me that God is good and His goodness isn’t determined by my accomplishments, my successes or my failures. Even if...I will trust in His goodness. It also reminds me that others will screw up, mess up, make mistakes and that shouldn’t affect the way I love them. I will love recklessly. If I could go back and have my tattoo be perfect, I don’t think I would. I need the reminder that I have a God who loves me with a reckless love and I have a calling to love others in the same way.
Robin Smith has a passion for equipping people to see their strengths and to lead with their unique God given gifts. She has spent the last 15 years in higher education, focusing on developing student leaders and equipping students with the skills they need to be successful in the pursuit of their education and careers.
Robin has recently transitioned out of higher education to pursue her heart’s passion to help equip women coming out of trafficking as the Program Director at Refuge for Women Las Vegas. Robin serves on the Ignite Life board, volunteers with Refresher for Women and Refresher Girls and teaches the evening class of Speaker's Workshop. She loves to teach the word of God and empower people to live victoriously on their journey with Jesus.
Robin and her husband Homer have been married for 31 years. They enjoy God’s creation by hiking, walking, or simply enjoying the sun with a good book. They have two children, Jenna and Ryne, three grandchildren, Alex, Dylan and Vincent and 1 cat - Cedar.