I have spit upon my Jesus. I have been a thorn in his crown. I have denied him outright. I have run away. And much of this was after I knew him, after he invited me into The Story.
They stripped everything from him at the cross. They tortured him physically and psychologically. And there have been moments, lost in pride and fear, when I joined right in. When I seek forgiveness for my foolish failings, I not only need pardon for my personal naughty list, I need forgiveness for my participation in his death – his death!
But… It. Is. Finished. What I am, what I have done, what I will do, what I won’t do that I should – all of these things were already accounted for when he sought my heart the first time – and the 10th, and the 1,059th. Shame haunts me sometimes, for I have done some shameful things. But shame will not win. It cannot rule because my fate is already sealed.
I was given my sentence, but He served my time.
There have been moments where my life has shown a faint flicker of the fire of his love story. These moments breathed life into my faltering faith and reminded me that HE IS LIFE, and that I am coming alive.
There have been seasons of darkness when I wandered far from the narrow, lighted path. The sheer terror of those times reminded me of the emptiness, the meaninglessness, of life without him. The universe lost its enchantment.
But, grace upon grace, every time I turned back, he was waiting. He never shielded his eyes from my sad display of self-destruction. He simply waited for me to get back to the right story, the real story, so we could get on with things.
For the REAL story is HIS story. It is written across all time. It is written where there is no time. It is written in our very hearts if we will hear it. He is the vine of all goodness, and he tells me I can be a branch growing from that perfect vine.