Monday, September 2, 2013

Grace

Your past is your past

I don't want to fix you. I created you. I want just be with you. - God

John 8 tells the story of a woman who was caught in the act of adultery, strewn out in front of the town (likely naked) and accused of her sins in front of everyone. 

Have you ever had your dirty laundry aired out for all to see? Have you ever been drug out in front of the town, naked, ashamed, and vulnerable for all to see? Have you ever been accused and your life threatened because of a wrong that you have done? 

Ultimately the woman was forgiven and shown grace; the favor of God. She walks away and her past is her past. Even after such a wretched scene she can walk freely away with a clean slate. 

So many times in our lives accusations are thrown at us and we have to thwart them off, fight them, or lay in them. Sometimes we can feel like we are on a battlefield - waging war against others or even feel defeated as if the battle is over before it has begun. 

Imagine yourself in this woman's shoes. She was in bed with a man (we'll leave it at that). Her door was suddenly burst through and guards wrenched her from her bed suddenly without warning or cause. She just has enough time to possibly grab a sheet to cover herself, or maybe she doesn't. Drug through the streets, naked, exposed, vulnerable to everything and everyone around her. Thrown onto the ground at the feet of many. Many men who already have stones in hand ready to take her life. Imagine the feelings that would be rushing through you at this very moment. 

GUILT - SHAME - NEGLECT - UNLOVED - LONELY - DIRTY - HURT - LOST - FEAR

Now, imagine what it would feel like if suddenly all of that went away. Because you don't need to be fixed. You were beautifully and wonderfully made. Your past is your past and you can walk away with a clean slate. Wipe all that away and know that you can start fresh and unscathed. 

Many times in my life I have needed a do-over. I sit and think about the dumb/foolish things I have done and I know that I have been shown grace over and over again. I know that I have walked away with a cleaner slate than I began. I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I didn't have this stirring inside of me to strive to be a better person. 

We don't have to be naked, on the ground, in front of many to feel any of the things listed above. Those emotions come tagging along for many reasons. Maybe we have something in our past we have not forgiven or forgotten. Maybe we are someone different in private than we are in public. Maybe the way we do business isn't the way that would make our families proud. 

I am sure there have been multiple instances in your life when one of those emotions creeped up and swallowed you whole. That is what they do - they consume us. Make us feel less and less, until we feel nothing at all - complete emptiness. 

The funny thing is - it takes only a second to feel whole again. Grace was shown and she was helped up. She was forgiven and she walked away. There are so many situations that I have been shown grace, helped up, and walked away. We struggle with history repeating itself and finding ourselves back in that same place over and over. How is it so that our past can be our past?

I don't want to fix you. I created you. I want just be with you. - God

How solid and reassuring is this statement. Someone that you can depend on who is not trying to fix all the things that are wrong with you because you are different, damaged, or scarred. Someone who will take you for who you are exactly where you are and just be with you. Now that is love. That is grace. That is God. 

What else could you possibly want?

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