Talk about eleventh hour.
It’s Fat Tuesday and until just a little while ago, I had no clue what, if anything, I would do for Lent.
After burning my journals, a soul-sister of mine mentioned having her own writing/burning session and using the ashes in her own private ceremony. I thought that was an amazing idea and I do believe I’ll be doing something in that vein.
Last night, though, I was compelled to read the Gospel of John. Oh sure, I’ve read it plenty of times, but honestly, because it feels so emotional, I often dismissed this Gospel. Then a double whammy of grace and emotion piled on because I am reading the Ragamuffin Bible
“Meditations for the bedraggled, beat-up, and brokenhearted.”
I remember reading The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning.
“Christians find it easier to believe that God exists than that God loves them.”
“When a person is evoked for who she is, not who she is not, the most often result will be the inner healing of her heart through the touch of affirmation.”
“…the outstretched arms of Jesus exclude no one, neither the drunk in the doorway, the panhandler on the street, gays and lesbians in their isolation, the most selfish and ungrateful in their cocoons, the most unjust of employers and the most overweening of snobs. The love of Christ embraces all without exception.”
The extent to which this man understood and practiced grace scared me. Maybe because I have to reveal all those long-hidden, painful secrets and memories before they can be washed with grace? I don’t know. I just know that grace is something I often feel I’ll never have or receive beyond what has already been seen. Like grace is commodity and I’ve received my share. Next! Move along please, you’ve got yours.
I have lived too long struggling to live up to a projection of God. You can scream until you pass out the things God hates, what he’ll punish me for, the prayers of mine he won’t hear, the sins you checkmark for me. That’s on you.
How long have I repressed my emotions in exchange for a false sense of control and healing? Far too long. Far, far too long.
What I long for most is simply to be me.
The girl full of spirit and wonder and love that God created me to be and man broke.
But Jesus was broken, too.
So tomorrow He and I will do some healing together. Not out of guilt or law, but in love.