As a writer it’s easy to be misunderstood because of the very thing we love: words. The lack of facial expression, voice inflection, and physical contact is lost when only words are on a page, yet sometimes a writer is able to convey a story, transporting a reader into the heart of it, something written which causes us to linger, learn, hunger, thirst, and long for more, for the story to never end.
I do not doubt these were the intentions of those who wrote down God’s words of love long ago, yet the words have gotten muddled, those who wrote it down and shared it century after century darkening its delivery, the very same vessels meant to pour out healing and life.
None of us is perfect and I will fight you to be first in line to admit so.
But what if everyone on earth was given the opportunity to meet, sit with, and judge on their own, this guy named Jesus that we as Christians have horribly tried with good intentions, to convey? What if we didn’t judge Jesus by the Christians but got to know Him simply for what it is He said and He did and who He was? What would His face reveal, His tone, His eyes?
There have been times, especially over the last year (as I’m wrapping up my “read the Bible in 3 months” gig…10 months later) where I didn’t want to read 2/3rds of the words in the Bible. I am a girl who doesn’t throw away the baby with the bath water because God’s just way bigger than that in my head, but I sure as heck was disenchanted with God at times thanks to many of the characters and their behavior towards others. As I read, even filtering scripture through my own journey in American Christianity which at one time included mafia and swinging pastors, I just wanted to curl up and only read the “red” words in the New Testament. Just give me Jesus. Not Paul. Not John. Not Peter. Just Jesus’ words and His stories, His truth, His message. Just Jesus…what did He say?
And at the same time reading about God’s love via messy messengers allowed me to be myself, wrecked and broken, trusting God to be big enough to write a story, in spite of me, too, one to transport us into His very heart. A story of unconditional love that causes us to linger, learn, hunger, thirst, and long for the rest of His story, if we sit with it for a while…wrestle and rest.
I am a follower of Christ, a lover of God, a Christian. And I’m extremely flawed. I’m nothing special. I screw up and hurt others every third minute. But I love Jesus and this story has never been about me but to me.
“Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, ‘Light up the darkness!’ and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful. If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay posts of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves we’re not much to look at.”
I don’t know. I’m not pretending to have all the answers for this flawed world and the 7 billion imperfect people inhabiting it. I just know, I’ve sat, and continue to sit with the One who wrote us a love story and though it’s been delivered through jacked up, messy vessels over the years, He’s written the kind of Love story for which there is no end…the kind that’s worth learning in spite of the messengers.