It is a revelation to read the scriptures in the warm glow of my Father’s passionate love for me. I read the stories and see myself in the hearts of those whom Jesus touched:
I am the cripple at the Pool of Bethesda, who longed for healing but for many slow, hard years found no one to help him do what he could not do himself. Jesus came and with a Act of Love set me free.
I am the Prodigal Son, who only saw his Father as a stern rulemaker and wanted out from under that all-seeing Eye of Disapproval. He left home with his Father’s money and spent his way into complete inner poverty. I shuffled home in rags, and, falling to my knees, discovered with surprise the eager forgiveness of my Father’s Love. His happy tears on my neck revealed a longing Love that was for me from the beginning.
I am the woman at the well, a broken trail of relationships in her wake and living a lie. Ashamed, an outcast, laboring under the burdens I created, Jesus came and told me everything I had done. All my deeds spilled from his lips, yet His tone was so different from any voice I had ever heard. He knew everything. Things not even my harshest critics new. Things I had hidden even from my own accusing heart. Yet, when He spoke there was no sense of condemnation. Instead, His voice wrapped me in the warm embrace of compassion and a deep, abiding understanding. He saw me for who I truly was and did not turn away. He gave me the courage to extend compassion to my own heart of hearts, and to not be afraid of truth.
I am Abraham. Asked to do something by God which seemed antithetical to His nature. Walking up the mountain with my son to sacrifice the thing I held dearest to my heart. Was He the most important thing to me, or was it my own precious reputation. Was He enough? God introduced Himself to me that day, and surprised me with Union.
I am the rich young ruler, captivated by Jesus, but lacking that one last step to complete abandonment. Going all the way to the edge, unable to leap. Coming to the open door, hesitant to walk through. Not sure of the cost. Fearful of loss. Worried about the wild ways of freedom. By the grace and kindness of Jesus, I have sometimes taken that last step and found myself in a terrifying, exhilarating freefall into the safe acceptance and furious love of God.
I am the disciple Jesus loved, leaning on His chest and soaking in every bit of who He is while I can. Held captive by a love I do not understand.
I am Peter, the Water Walker who is all-in, but easily loses focus. I am Peter the Rock, who knows the bitter loneliness of failure and shame, who’s heart is pursued by Jesus and firmly assured of His eternal friendship, and who now understands the power of compassion.
I am the orphan who belongs, the widow who is cared for, the captive who has been set free, the broken who has been made whole, the lost who is found, the lame who walks, the blind who sees, the destitute who has everything, and the dead who lives. And so are all who have been touched by the living personality of Jesus. A lifetime would not be enough time to write who He is to me, but I feel if I can just introduce you to Him, He will give you in abundance what I cannot.
“Summoning a certain two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, ‘Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?’…And He answered and said to them, ‘Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the good news preached to them. Blessed is he whoever does not take offense at Me.'” Luke 7:19, 22&23