I am the sum total of every moment that has lead up to now. Memories of night swims with friends in the Newlands Resevoir, the intimate moments of vulnerability, soft kisses and gentle tears, mistakes of pride, mistakes of shame, darkness, joy, finding Christ, losing Christ, losing myself, letting Christ find me… letting Christ love me.
And life whirls on in a blur of autumn leaves, winter nights, and spring-filled pain that summers into new beginnings. Every wound, strike upon my back, my breast, self inflicted, yet mirrored upon Him. Not in judgement but in Love. As I break He holds me together and the storm rages on.
I remember a reflection I once did. It was from a spiritual guide. I was a statue, a construction of time and weather; crafted with care and precision. Imagine, the reflection lead, that you are a statue. What do you look like? And finally, how does Jesus see you?
As I followed the instructions, I pictured a broken, flawed statue; Blackened by time, cracked and chipped and slowly crumbling. Over my arms were chains, locked into the ground.
I imagined Jesus coming to see me, this ruin. What could He possibly see in me, how could He love this? And yet, in my minds eye, quite unexpectedly, He embraced me. With all the chains and cracks and flaws and brokenness, He just loved. I could only cry in response.
As I’ve travelled through Europe the last three weeks, I’ve met beautiful people from all over the world. Sometimes it was a long discussion in a backpackers, and other times it was a brief encounter in broken French and dramatic gestures. But each moment was another chip into the stone face of my life, creating definition, refining me. And yet, in the whirl wind of isolated travelling, what I thought would be a chance to escape myself, my thoughts and fears, has been just the opposite. I left, but it turns out I came with too. And there have been many moments of looking at myself, this broken scultpure, and trying to remember what it felt like when Jesus embraced me in my brokenness. Because sometimes that is hard to believe.
Often thoughts will turn against me and I will think there is no way I am worthy of following Him. He wouldn’t want me. This hypocrite. This blind guide. Yet I remember His followers – The tax collector, the zealot, the denier, the traitor… All broken, all called.
And perhaps that is the key. He calls me, not because I am worthy, but because He loves me.
In every broken moment, He is there. In every quiet forest walk, He walks beside me. In the silence of a dark night, He whispers my name.
“For our courteous Lord does not want his servants to despair because they fall often and grievously; for our falling does not hinder him in loving us… He wants us so to take heed that he is the foundation of our whole life in love, and furthermore that he is our everlasting protector, and mightily defends us against all our enemies, who are very cruel and very fierce towards us, and so our need is great, the more so because by our falling we give them occasion.” – Julian of Norwich