One night my son came down into the kitchen, turned on the light, and caught me. It was 11:30, and I was alone. With ice cream.
“Do you do this often, Dad?” he asked me.
I licked my spoon. “Do what?”
We all have things we like to hide. Embarrassing behaviors and unsightly blemishes–we recoil from our own brokenness, just as we expect others to. Shame, our primal negative emotion, lurks in the dark shadows of our souls, waiting to pounce on us when we are the least bit exposed. And the urge to hide, to act, to “prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet,”1 seems to intensify as we approach God. Adam and Eve hid. And Peter, when he first understood, really understood, who Jesus was, said, “Go away from me Lord! I am an unclean man.” The pressure in all of life, but especially in the church, is to pretend–to pretend that we’re better, happier, healthier–that we are someone other than who we really are.
But Jesus did not come for Someone Other. He came for You–the Real You (the one who needs help). When scorned by religious leaders for the disreputable company he kept, Jesus said, “It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Pretense shuts him out, but truth is beautiful, a superhighway for him straight to your heart. He exists 100% in reality, and in reality there is no shame. In reality there is brokenness, sin, blemishes, and too much ice cream. And in reality there is hope, healing, friendship, and a scoop for my son.
The Apostle John wrote, “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” We hope you find this a place of light, where we are truthful about who we are and where you can feel free to be the same.
1 T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock