I was making breakfast, cracking the eggs into the battered somewhat-non-stick skillet, and trying to balance it on the old electric burner so that the eggs wouldn’t run into each other too much. Attempting to flip them without breaking the yolks so I could deliver them to The Man & The Girl in perfect, over-medium glory, since The Boy had already left on his choir trip to Holiday World.
The title cut was playing from The Water and the Blood, and I was thinking about how strange the lyrics must seem to someone who isn’t a follower of Jesus. How deeply they contrast with the “you’re perfect exactly as you are” chorus of the media zeitgeist these days.
“Lord we confess our many faults, and how great our guilt has been,
foolish and vain were all of our thoughts, no good could come from within,
but by the mercy of our God, all of our hopes begin,
and by the water and the blood, our souls are washed from sin,
our souls are washed…”
There’s something comforting about not having to convince yourself you’re wonderful. There’s a massive relief in not having to convince the world that you’re wonderful.
I think that a lot of soul-sick people have twisted that basic understanding, that we’re naturally kind of screwed up messes. Instead of being a truth that lets us off the hook, allowing us to rest in the grace that we’re loved, wonderful or not; it becomes a whip attempting to beat us into working harder for a reprieve we’ve already been given.
There is a universe of difference between “I confess my many faults, how great my guilt has been” and “You need to confess your many faults, how great your guilt should be.”
It breaks my heart that so many broken people have beaten down others with the latter.
But as a person who continually struggles with the desperate need to convince myself and everyone around me how wonderful I am, knowing that I’m not that wonderful is a blessed relief. It’s the doorway from self-conscious preoccupation and scrambling into the peace and equanimity of letting my soul rest in the goodness of Someone else.
My prayer for you, reader friends, is that you experience the freedom to enjoy not being wonderful today.