Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Look at Christ

    One of the most impactful books I've ever read is The Cure by John Lynch, Bruce McNicol, and Bill Thrall. Here's a quote from it that I found especially meaningful to me. It did much to dispel many of the ideas I had in my head about God as my Judge and as my Ruler rather than God as my Father and as my Lover. A large piece of the book is allegory, a character choosing between the Room of Good Intentions and the Room of Grace. Here is the character's first night in the Room of Grace.

     "I take off my shoes and rub my sore feet, overwhelmed by it all. I'm tired, but in the good kind of tired, like when you know you've put in a full day's work. I think back on the banner I read (the banner read, "Standing with God, my sin in front of us, working on it together."), and suddenly I know what it means. Before, God was always 'over there', on the other side of my sin, obscured by the mound of trash between us. But now I realize He's here, with me. I can picture it as clearly as if it's happening.

     "He puts His hands on my shoulders, staring into my eyes. No disappointment. No condemnation. Only delight. Only love. He pulls me into a bear huge, so tight it knocks the breath out of me for a moment. At first, I feel unworthy. I want to push away and cry out, 'I don't deserve this. Please stop. I'm not who you think I am!' But He does know. And soon, I give in to His embrace. I hear Him say, 'I know. I know. I've known from before time began. I've seen it all. I'm right here. I've got you.'

     "And now I'm holding on with all my might. He stays right there in the moment, until He's certain His love has been completely communicated and received. Only then does He release His grip, so that He can turn to put an arm around my shoulder. He then directs my sigh to that mound of filth now out in front of us.

     "After several moments, with a straight face He says, 'That is a lot of sin. A whole lot of sin. Don't you ever sleep?' He starts laughing. I start laughing.

     "Gazing at that mound of pain, I consider that I never thought I'd experience this kind of moment. All the pain, regret, and damage of my life is laid out in front of me. All that has caused shame and condemnation. All that has caused me to pretend and impress and yearn for control. All that has broken my heart and His. But now I'm viewing it with Jesus' arms around me! He's been holding me with utter delight, with all my sin right here in our midst, never allowing it between us. He wants to know me in the midst of this, not when I get it cleaned up. I know now if this mound is to ever shrink, it'll be by trusting this moment for the rest of my life."

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