the faithful ramblings a late bloomer. . .

the faithful musings of a four letter word user on a quest for authenticity.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

He Meets Us Where We Are

What keeps people from following Jesus isn’t the scandal of the Cross but the scandal of Christians who don’t love. ~ Rick Warren

My counselor gave me a couple of assignments as I was facing the difficult reality of being freed from my marriage covenant. The first was to get some accountability on actually following through with my plan to move out of my house, and the second one was to read The Shack.

What resonated in me about the book was the simple fact that Jesus meets us where we are. He knows our beginning and our end. NOTHING we do surprises him. He understands our feelings of betrayal, isolation, desperation, joy and sorrow because he experienced all of them during his time here on earth. He knew the situation we find ourselves in when we’re crying out to him in pain and suffering long before there was a single hair on our head. He’s not shocked, nor disappointed.

The bible beaters of the world will tell us that God hates sin and we’re sinners, so this can’t be true. They have built up walls around the heart of Jesus through condemnation, criticism and judgment that rational thinking humans can’t tear down those walls to see the heart of Jesus. But, I believe the heart of Jesus is nothing like the “Christians” that proudly bear his name.

He is kind, compassionate, overflowing with love, grace and mercy. He wants nothing more than to delight with us in our successes and teach us, as a loving parent, in our failures. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, because he knows that in our human condition, we simply aren’t capable of it. Having experienced our conditions on earth, he knows it so intimately that he’s not in the least surprised when we screw up as royally when we do.

However, we walk around forgetting that progress is actually the goal, not perfection. We hang so much value on being right and good, and are so disappointed in ourselves when we fail that we end up pushing God further away. But, I would argue, that he absolutely does not care about the stuff we get so hung up on, because he always meets us where we are.

He meets us where we are.

We don’t have to “raise up” to some level of refined spiritual and/or physical behaviors before we can know him.

He meets us where we are.

Broken and shattered, needing the peace and comfort only he can provide.

He meets us where we are.

To carry the burdens this life continues to offer and to provide us peace, joy and love that make us whole.

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