Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Identifying with "the Others"

You have no idea how broken I really am! Seriously! No one knows. I'm really good at keeping secrets and keeping closed off. I once had a "shrink" look at me and say "My God what happened to you to make you this way?" She accused me of having built a wall around my heart. She was right.

The last few years God has started associating me with people who are inspiring me to come out of this coffin I've built. I am seeing how important community and transparency are in this Spiritual life. I'm trying not to be so introverted and trying to give myself to a community. I'm actually letting people in on secrets or even things I deem "none of their damn business". It's actually refreshing. I feel lighter and more connected. Of course, these are people who have earned that right and don't disqualify me when discovering my shortcomings. In fact, they encourage me and allow God to empower me in those areas. It feels incredible to start peeling these masks off.

Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

But maybe like you, I have some things no one will ever know. There are some things my wife will know but my best friends won't. There are some things, especially thoughts I've had, I don't believe I will ever tell another soul. No one can ever know. But He knows.

You see God knows all those things. Even when you see how well things are going for me or catch me on a really spiritually good day, he knows who I am. He knows what I've done; what I've thought. And even while I was His enemy, he displayed the most unfathomable sacrifice merely to demonstrate His love for me. It's up to me how I want to react to what He did.

See, you have no idea the mercy and grace that was shown to me cause I've never told anyone all of it. The drugs, the violence, the perversion, the bad decisions, the selfishness and the thoughts... my Lord, where did some of those thoughts come from? My debt was monstrous, and yet he paid it. Maybe you were a decent person. I wasn't. So maybe you can't understand why I feel I owe my life to Him. Maybe you don't understand my radicalism because you don't understand the amount of mercy given to me. There was a lot of sin and now there is even more grace.
God's law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God's wonderful grace became more abundant.
You ever went to correct a child or discipline them and then remembered how "bad" you were as a kid or something you had done worse? Puts the brakes on your wrath a little, huh? Well it should. (Matthew 18:22-35). So maybe it's my fault so many in the church can't understand why I go where I go and hang with who I hang. Maybe it's cause I've kept a secret of how much grace was really bestowed upon me. Maybe every time I feel like coming down on one of these "sinners" I remember the debt I carried and was paid for me.

Then again, maybe one day, you will know all I've done. I've had ministers in the past describe a judgement day to me where everything I've done will be projected on the universes biggest film screen for all to see, and then I will answer to God in front of everyone. But then...just before the film rolls...

... I will wait for all of those who can't understand me to use their theology, their Scriptures, their worldview to jump to their feet and scream, "He loved "the others" to much! He showed too much compassion! He was too merciful! Those people he served were the enemies of God."

And with the final credits, maybe you will see, I was just as broken as all of them.

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