When it’s that time at church to repent, I usually think of two or three things I’ve done wrong that week and confess them. This week was different.
I indulged my lusts. . . thrice . . . I was terribly critical of my girlfriend and I hurt her . . . and I judged these people from church. . . actually judged them pretty horribly . . . and . . .
as I surveyed myself, I understood that I’ve been all wrong. It is not these several things that must be erased with some magic solvent made of blood and then I’ll be fine. The very root of me is severely sick.
I realized that I am selfish at my core and my heart is fighting tooth and nail to keep what I desperately want, but know that I don’t deserve. My two or three or four . . . hundred things I do wrong each week are just symptoms of a decaying heart. Some weeks the stench just seeps out between my ribs more than others.
I was suddenly sorry for, and floored by a lot more than just the gross stuff that seeped out.
A few years ago I found a lonely duckling, deserted by his parents. I rescued him and tried to leave him with a couple of adult geese that I found nearby. but as soon as I set him down and started sneaking away, he turned and with all his little waddling might he ran after me as if I were his only hope. He knew only me to be his comfort. I was his only father and I was deserting him. My heart broke. I reached down as he ran to me, and I picked him up. I held him close and felt maybe a bit of what it’s like to love a child. I took him home and tried to keep him warm and nurse him back to health but he kept fading. A couple days later I cried as I buried him in a sock beneath a tree in my back yard.
So, this week when I confessed my sin, and saw my broken soul, I ran to Him like a dying duckling.
I was not a friend who had accidentally stepped on his toes or drank his Red Bull in the fridge. And he was not just a polite roommate who said, “dude, that’s ok, I forgive you.”
This week I ran to him as my only hope. I was not able to do better or try harder or heal myself. I was chronically sick and the world would not give me the cure. And now all I could do to save myself was to run to him and let him hold me and nurse me. I clung to what I’ve been taught about Him, that He would not let me take all the punishment that the world would heap on me if they only knew. He was my big father, my comfort. He IS my only hope.
. . .
I don’t want to say that my sins aren’t something I should try to avoid, but now I’m beginning to see that it is not by my own efforts that I become less sinful. I can pull my crap together and look less sinful, but it’s my core that needs healing.
And I don’t want to say that I wasn’t created perfect and whole. But something between birth and now caught on and infested my soul.
What I CAN do is to simply eat the food and drink the water he daily brings to me. And to sleep when he says now is the time to sleep. And lean into him when I start to shiver. For it is not in myself to fight off the disease and frigid cold that is in the world. In fact the disease and the bitter selfishness has already found its way into my heart and I need him to touch me at my very core.
Lord, please hold me. Please heal me. I keep hurting people. I keep failing. Please do not let me fade away.