Every switchback that I hiked with the Lord seemed to be paralleled by a landslide in my natural life. The Lord was expanding my vista of his grace, but I was too blinded by my narrow understanding to fully grasp it.
When my pain, failures and circumstances reached a place more lowly than I could have ever fathomed, I reached the limit of the "tenacity" of my faith. I said to the Lord,
"Look! How could this possibly bring you glory? I think you have made a mistake. The cost is too steep. I'm done. I quit. I told you that I am not qualified for this." I buried my head in my hands, limp with surrender.
"It's your brokenness that qualifies you."
At this bell of truth, I physically felt the snap of pride and was released from something that I still can't name. The shrink of humility. A resurrection. Violent compassion and ferocious mercy for sinners, like me.
Tadpoles becoming frogs and birds hatching, by my son.
There's no deeper revelation of Jesus than holy bewilderment.
The Lord had taken off the bondage of a church hat veneer that religion had laid upon me. Fledgling attempts at honesty and confession that were met by rejection, vanishing, or hush-fingers had crept condemnation into my bones. "Disqualified."
📖 Turns out that God doesn't preach to us from a lofty place on a pedestal. He doesn't stand behind a podium in an auditorium. He doesn't classify sin. He doesn't accept tuition or hand out diplomas.
God condescended as the Word made flesh and dwelled among us. He visited the sick. He proclaimed the kingdom on hillsides. He washed our feet.
Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin. All of it. Holy and perfect majesty, choosing to suffer the human form. Taking every devil's arrow into himself, in order to render the ones in our backs as crowns.
Admit brokenness and sin and receive redemption.
How many times have I agreed with the jury, when all along, the Judge was patting the mercy seat, next to him? ✝️
Later, when the accuser came to wipe the blood of Christ off of my tracks, in a flash of fear, I began to try to cover them back up. My defender and king stopped me,
"Don't cover over the foolish things, so that the wise can be confounded."
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?" James 2:5 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh." Luke 6:20-21 He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and on them he has set the world. 1 Samuel 2:8 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Luke 5: 31-32 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Luke 7:41-43