Young and Messy

“RYAN, LOOK AT YOUR DAUGHTER.”

There was an urgency in her voice. Then Sav came up stairs and I witnessed what my bequeathal of markers had produced. Pink arms, pink legs, and a pink face to match her pink night gown!

When Sav saw herself in the mirror she burst into tears and threw herself on the bed smearing the marker on everything to hide her face from sight. I just held her and said, “you’re so beautiful, it’s ok, daddy loves you.”

That’s all she needed after seeing the consequences of the mess. She didn’t need to be disciplined. She didn’t need me to be mad at her, and she already knew coloring her face was not a good idea after seeing her reflection.

Sin can be like this. We get in a messy situation, our life gets wrecked, and we cry in hiding. What we don’t need is someone chastising us after we’re broken, but it seems some church people only have a couple types of tools in the box: judgement, shame, and gossip.

{in the tone of condemnation}

“How could they get drunk?”

“How could they do that to their spouse?”

“Can you believe what “so and so” did?”

“We all need to pray for ________ because she _________!”

…And so on…

What’s worse is that many within the church seem to forget that when we come to Christ we are “born again.” Not born and fast tracked into years of walking with Jesus. Born and new, like a baby who needs milk, cuddle time, and protection. Then we learn to walk, albeit clumsily. Then we learn to talk the strange language of Christian. We slowly learn principles of godliness. And, hopefully, we hear the good news of God’s radical love and forgiveness through Jesus often (like everyday).

For those who trust in the person and work of Jesus, take heart.

You may think you are too messy for God. He wants you to know that he loves you, you’re beautiful, and it’s going to be ok.

You may think others are poor examples of Christianity. Remember, God loves them, God thinks they’re beautiful, and it’s going to be ok.

At the end of the marker ordeal Sav took a bath and the pink tinted water circled the drain. Her sheets have been washed, and evidence of Markergeddon has vanished. Next time someone sins, help them wash it away with a tender reminder of the good news of Jesus (this is the only way sin can be dealt with). Let their sin, and yours, circle the drain and be flushed out to sea, then recall the words of Corrie Ten Boom,

God has taken our sin. He has thrown it into the sea of forgetfulness, and he has posted a sign that says, ‘No fishing allowed.’

 

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