Well, that got my head and prayer spinning, The Anchoress!
I desire mercy, mercy which flows from grace. The idea of grace has been on my mind a lot lately, especially as it comes to parenting. Not I love you when, but I love you period. El fin. Now and forever.
Same for God's love. He doesn't love us more when we are perfect - He loves us most in that He loves us now, in our muck and mud, in our sin, in our sickness. He didn't come for the righteous, but for the sick. That is the verse that has been with me over the past several years as we continue to politicize righteousness. We don't earn His love. It is grace. Pure grace.
I'm working on showing that kind of grace in my own life - as a daughter, as a wife, as a mother. Where do we draw the line between grace and accountability? It is hard. Everything in me wants to say that it is easier to love you when you don't screw up. The crazy thing about love and grace, though, is that people need it most when we feel they deserve it the least. Jesus didn't die on that cross because we listened to everything He said and obeyed. He died amidst our selfishness, our rebellion, our pridefulness. If He gave up His life for us, the least we can do is offer a bit of that free grace to people in our midst. We are all sinners in need of a savior. We are not that savior. We are not the one who is well while everyone else struggles in sin. We, each and every one of us, struggles in that muck. Some of our sins are more visible, but how unfair to pretend our less visible sin is somehow less sinful, and we are then somehow more righteous? In His mercy we are made well. In His mercy we should be inviting others to recieve that gift of pure love.
Grace, it is all about grace. Come to Jesus who waits with open arms and a bleeding heart now, while you are dirty. The living water will wash you clean as many times as you need Him and surrender yourself to Him. Freely, openly, without reservation - if you come in earnest desiring His mercy, He will pour it upon you in spades.
One word of caution: it will transform your life if you leave the mud behind and let it. It won't always be easy, it won't mean we won't trip over puddles of mud along the way, it may even mean suffering and face planting in a giant pool of muck, but your life will be transformed for the good.
Are you ready? Then come, let Jesus, the only Savior, embrace you in mercy and healing as He shows you the way to wholeness and eternal joy. Let's walk this road together, shall we?