We were running late. We usually are.
I know it drives Babe crazy
sometimes. He loves me for it though.
We walked in and sat in overflow, just as the sermon started.
I got up again to fix my coffee. I am trying to cut back on sugar, but it was too bitter.
When I got up, I got waylaid. That can happen when you work where you attend service.
I missed a good portion of the sermon (though I can and will catch it on podcast).
So this is what I was left with...
I left the sermon right after hearing,
"How do you want to be described?"
And heard words like oxymoron and living how you are perceived, as I walked out to sweeten the bitter taste in my mouth.
I walked back in on these words, right as the sermon was wrapping up.
"... I am mortal, sinful man." Said a prince, who had previously been denied entry twice before when trying to enter using his title.
"Then let him come in." said the same monk who had twice turned him down.
I know the middle of that sermon had to be great. I had heard it was wonderful. But even the little I heard has stuck with me. I found it fitting, the parts that I was able to take in and how they wound together. In a lot of ways that's what it is all about, isn't it... grace?
We mess up, we falter and- often- we pray that the world will miss it. We pray that they will see us by "titles" or by things that help boost our self-image. But God always knows when we miss a step. He knows our sin and yet, He still lets us come in. In fact, He asks us to bring our sins to Him. To leave them at the feet of the cross and carry on. He has forgiven them. But have we forgiven ourselves? Are we still trying to hold onto titles or are we laying things out in the open so that we can leave them behind?
The last few days I have wondered about how I would want to be described by others. Wondered about what I value most in myself. And I came up with two things...
I want to be described as loyal. Loyal to my friends, loyal to my husband, to my family and to God. I want people to know that they can depend on me and for them to know how dearly I value each of them.
But I also want to be known as someone who can sin well. Does that sound strange? It did to me, the first time I thought it. But I want to be a person who can ask forgiveness. I want to name my sin. I want to hold my human nature on my sleeve so that I see if for what it's worth. I know I will sin. I will fall short of Godliness, all the time, because I am human. But I also know that I can strive to be more like Jesus; to hold closer to the "still, small voice" inside my soul and hear it with a deeper clarity.
And so, I want to ask forgiveness for the things that I have done. Not just to God, but to whomever it was that my sin hurt. Even if it is just myself; though I find that often times, someone else has been hurt in the process. I want to be described as someone who isn't afraid to share her heart, her struggles and her mistakes.
I sit here typing with sweaty palms, because that scares me. Sharing my sin with God- my failures, my mistakes- seems somewhat easier than sharing them with the world.
He IS forgiveness. He wrote the book on it. He sent Jesus to let us know that we are always forgiven when we turn to Him.
That is a different story. I know people, because I know my own heart. Forgiveness can be a hard thing for people. We are broken, we are human and we are easily hurt.
So to show up at someone else's door, with a heart full of broken apologies, can be terrifying. But I want so badly to be known for that.
I want to be known as someone who can knock at a door, with trembling knees and a shaky hand, and say, "It is me; broken and sorry and praying that you can forgive me." I want to be described that way. And even more than that? I want to be described as someone who, should I be the one standing on the opposite side of that door, never even needs to hear a knock before swinging wide the door and letting that person know that it is already forgiven.
That's what I want to be described as... a loyal, humanly-broken, righteousness-seeking, well-sinning, forgiver.
What about you?
How would you want to be described?