This was difficult to write. Not because I was protective of the matter; I’ve just been thinking, and sometimes the more you think, the more difficult it is to write. However, tonight, as a deadline looms and the caffeine that I should have denied earlier works its black magic, I sit at the computer as the family sleeps. It’s either the caffeine or the Holy Spirit. Either way, here we go…
I was loved freely, without boundary. I was a wretch drowning in my own ugliness, and yet Love loved me first. Love looked with pity on me, picked me up out of the mire and rescued me from sin and shame.
And how did I respond? For years and years… how did I respond? I pointed out other’s sins and tried shaming them towards Christ.
I recently conducted my own poll. Fill in the blank: Christians are a people known by their ________. Fellow Believers answered what we should be known for, which is love.
Then I asked those who would be honest – my non-Believing friends – what they thought. I got a couple of “a nice people, but kind of pushy”. One answered hypocrisy. Another answered, “selfish love” and you could read between the lines that she spoke from experience and the wounds of the past still stung. She explained, “Christians will love you as long as they think that you are fitting, or attempting to fit, their ideals of a ‘good person’.”
And I’m sorry. I don’t apologize for you, my sister. I apologize for myself.
I have judged those who didn’t know any better – those who denied the love of God.
But you know who I judged most of all? The Children of God. And you know what I was doing the entire time? Denying the love of God.
I was a perfectionist. I knew what “the life” was supposed to look like – a stay-at-home mom who homeschooled with a smile in a clean house and kept up a good figure while talking people into the Kingdom of Heaven. Are you exhausted yet? Sheesh!
It was not a doctrine that was taught to me necessarily. It was more of an acquired taste. I was very insecure. Did God love me enough to send His only Son to die the death that I deserved? Sure, I could get behind that with little hesitation, but accept that He actually liked me? Heck, I didn’t even like myself!
I was so busy hiding my imperfection and fear that I really was unworthy of such a LOVE, that I twisted myself into daunting shapes pointing out all of you who weren’t looking like you were supposed to.
And God never did go into your house and clean you up like I thought He might. He didn’t make you all stay-at-home moms or homeschoolers or happily married like I thought He ought. Instead, He came into my own home, this heart that had never NOT known Him and yet was in such desperate need for Him. He took time to slowly untwist my contortions. Those accusing fingers of mine had already been pointed… at Jesus bloodied and broken on the cross. That Easter morning the Accuser was silenced!
Girls, I have been silenced. I have been silenced by a Love that sat next to my twisted body and lovingly massaged sore muscles as He put me upright again.
I no longer point fingers. Well, at least I don’t hold the pose as long as I used to.
I was freely loved to love freely. The chains are gone. I’ve been set free.