As I stood at the edge of the threshold, a hush filled the room. What would He think when He saw me standing there? I don’t deserve to be here. Will He see me? Will He wonder why I’ve come? I don’t think I can bear to see the look of disappointment on His face.
My eyes look down, embarrassed to have them looked into. I want so desperately to enter in and feel His embrace. What must He think of me? I haven't lived as I should. I haven’t been who I was made to be. Is He disgusted with me too? Will He talk to me today? I don’t deserve to be talked to. I don’t even deserve His glance. I don’t deserve to be here. Should I turn and leave before He sees me?
Suddenly I hear His voice. “Come here, Jewel.” “Come sit with me a bit”. Tentatively I move forward to sit.
How can He look at me that way? How can His eyes light up like that as I move towards Him? Doesn’t He see how dirty I am? Doesn’t He see my sin covering me? I feel it shroud me and I am ashamed. Surely He sees it too?
I don’t want to fall back into these places, but I do. If it’s not who He says I am, then why do I keep falling back here?
He pats the seat next to Him and tells me to sit. I see the kindness in His eyes and I am undone. How can He look at me like that? How can He love me so?
He knows what I am thinking. After all He knows everything. “Jewel, you are still looking at your performance aren’t you?” “You’re still grading my love for you based on how well you perform.” “It’s not your good behavior that invites you here with me, it’s love.” “You belong to me, Jewel, it’s that simple.” “That’s why I created you.” “ I moved heaven and earth to be with you.” “Nothing you do or don’t do can change that.”
I hear His words yet they are still so hard to grasp. He loves me apart from anything I do? He loves me just because He does? He will never be disgusted with me? He doesn’t see me the way I see myself? He knows that my sin does not define me? He knows that the choices I make are not my identity?
But I don’t deserve this love.
His voice penetrates my thoughts. “Jewel, if you look at your behavior as a barometer for love, you will never deserve.” “Love isn’t based on what is deserved” “That makes it about you.” “It’s not about you.” "It's about the Father." "God is love." “We created in order to love.” “Unconditional love means there are no conditions to being loved.” “You’re just loved... period.”
“Think about your children, Jewel” “You have always loved them.” “They are a part of you.” “This love you have for them runs so deep that nothing that they do could ever take it away.” “You don’t love them because of their choices, or actions.” “You love them because they were made in the midst of love to be loved.” “That’s me with you, Jewel.”
Truth begins to awaken my soul. No matter how many times I screw up and make the wrong choice those eyes of kindness look up at me, welcoming me to sit right beside Him and feel His embrace. His kindness leads to repentance. I feel the tenderness of His heart as He reminds me that He reveals my sin to take it away. He only wants to cover me with His love. He doesn’t grade me or keep record. Neither should I.
This intense love draws me in and I am undone. I have never experienced anything like this. As His truth washes over me, I linger there in His embrace, feeling the full affects of the cross, and resurrection.
The door is always open. I am always welcomed in. He delights in loving me. I will never be graded again. There are no conditions, nothing to fulfill, only love awaits. I am a daughter of God, created in the midst of love. I see it now. He's been waiting to love me.
Let us then approach the throne room of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
©copyrighted: 2009 Julie L. Todd