Freshly Laundered

1 Peter 2:23-25 (the message)
They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls.

This morning, as Leah sits beside me playing Temple Run and Leighton rocks vigorously in her little chair, I am trying to pause…to absorb a reality that does not feel right.

I am kept. For good.

It doesn’t feel right because I live in a world of earning, cost-benefit analysis and fair play. I cannot convey in words the thick fog of human reasoning that resists this reality of being named.

Bright rays of truth permeate my heart when I remember. I did not clean up and present myself, earning acceptance. Jesus washed me, beggar that I was. Clothed me, street urchin lost and wandering aimlessly. Then He whispered in my ear. So simple a word and yet rain to my lonely, desert soul.

Mine.

Jesus led me along an unfamiliar road. I did not recognize or even believe my eyes.

Pure goodness.
Gentle kindness.
Unconditional welcome.
Genuine acceptance.

Sometimes I slowed…pulling back and away…but He held my hand a bit tighter, looked back at me and smiled a smile of understanding. Jesus understood my hesitation. He knew about my shame. As we stood in the moment together…could I trust this was real?…He let go of my hand. Just when I turned to go He held it out for me to see.

Scarred.

Forever scarred.

I looked into His eyes and saw longing.

Longing.

Jesus wanted me.

The scars He forever bears are not meant to accuse me. They are declarations of His love and longing for me.

For you.

His wounds, they heal me. They tell me who I am and where I belong.

Jesus leads me to Creator. I approach the throne of Grace with a new and almost unsettling confidence. No longer do I timidly, shamefully draw near to God.

I do not come uninvited.

I do not come as the begging, unsure street urchin I once was.

I do not come to Creator a trembling orphan, hoping for a home.

Instead I am brought.

Jesus brings me, named Mine and freshly laundered in love and forgiveness, to meet His Father.

My Father.

And I exhale every polluted untruth I ever believed about myself and this God of the sun and snow and ocean depths.

I was always His. I always belonged. I always had a name.

He missed me. Missed sharing my life. Missed calling out my name and watching me turn with an expectant, ready smile.

Jesus brought me back to Him.

And now I’m kept. For good.

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