This morning tears ran down hot on my cheek and onto the bedspread. I spent a good 20 minutes choking out fears and shame and deformed desires to the man who took a girl wearing white, though feeling anything but, almost 10 years ago. He listened; he always does. He loved; he always does.
I walk with the kids for almost three miles this morning; pondering, praying about what this is that God is doing. I had forgiven my past a long time ago. I had went on with life, thinking that all was well with my soul. I had forgotten…Jesus came not just to forgive, but also to heal the sick. And I am, but I didn’t know it. How does one know they are sick…different…deformed, when they have always been that way? Only one way – when we’re face to face with the well…typical…whole. When I am looking full into His wonderful face, I think I find what John the Baptist found all those years ago, I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Matt. 3:11) When you stand in the presence of The Perfect, The Whole, The Beautiful, you may just find your true self – your true need. And. It. Is. Hard.
When I began praying that He would grow me in His love, that He would make me more like Him, I never dreamed this. Why this opening up of all that I thought was dead? Here I had boasted of how God had miraculously let me forgive without needing counseling, but He is Father and He is The Great Counselor and He knows better than I what I need and when. As I walked and prayed this morning, trying to put into words what was taking place, I found no poetic justice! All I kept coming round to was that this was breaking me – a breaking I had not foreseen. I pray and sing about being broken for the things of God, for a dying world, for a needy child, but this kind of invasive, personal breaking – it’s killing me! Or maybe, just maybe, it’s helping me live.
One last thought covered the rest in grace as we wound around the last turn of our walk – there is still something peaceful about all this. How can that be?! How can a shattered reality and reaching a hand back into the black mire of a shameFULL past bring peace? I suppose because of this: it’s not just about the breaking; it’s about the One Who is doing the breaking. A doctor will break or re-break a bone just to put it back together the right way, to cause proper growth for the injured part, to cause wholeness for the body. Would the Great Physician do anything less? When the doctor is the one doing the breaking, we do not call him uncaring or suspect him of doing it for no reason. We don’t like the procedure, but we trust the hand of the physician. Trust. Peace. When Christ is doing the breaking, I know it isn’t without reason or love – He is Love. I don’t like this breaking, but I trust the hands that were broken. Trust. Peace.
8“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world. Matthew 5 The Message
I am but a broken pot. I know full well my shame and miserable state. I know that I have hidden from people and tried to hide in the bushes from God, but God – He is the Fire in the bush. Consuming it with His presence. Where can I go that His hand cannot stretch? Where I have found myself useless, tarnished, worth only the lack that my cracks have caused, He has reached in and redeemed. Where I have said “lost”, He is saying “found”. Where I have said, “I am ashamed”, He is saying, “Be amazed!” Where I have said, “dirty”, He is saying “beauty”. While I am begging Him to just really look at the mess of me, He is beckoning me to look at the Broken-Made-Whole of His Son. While I am crying at the pain and shame and exposure, He is causing the growth.
5 Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy.
6 They weep as they go to plant their seed,
but they sing as they return with the harvest. Psalm 126 NLT
His GRACE that brings PEACE
conviction at 4 am
seeking His grace…wanting repentance
His forgiveness – exceedingly, abundantly, beyond white I could ask or imagine