Monday, January 28, 2013

scars to prove it.

I was reading a review of a movie about faith the other day. I didn't watch the movie so I can't really comment on it, but people seemed to give it positive reviews....things like, "it is so refreshing to see a faith-based film that is not cheesy...." Yea, makes sense. I thought that comment sounded nice and it made me want to give the movie a try. The following review, however, had a phrase that lay stuck to my brain like a burnt cookie to an ungreased pan: "this is a great movie because it’s not slamming God in your face." I mean, I totally get that.... I understand what the person was trying to communicate; it just rubbed one of my arm hairs the wrong way... and then all of the other tendrils followed suit. I've heard things (and probably said things) similar to this before.... phrases like, "yea it was great, they didn't shove God down your throat." I'm a little stunned, to be honest. I'm stunned at the ease with which we open our mouths to form words and noise that make the Creator of the universe out to be someone who could possibly be, "shoved down a throat"....or "slammed in a face...." -as if we were big enough to encompass Him to even be able to do the shoving. The thought that we would see ourselves fit to take on the task of making Him palatable for the masses.... trying to prove Him to the onlookers that are the very work of His hands. I'm stunned at the pride of such a thought- at the darkness of my own irreverent heart. And the burnt cookie isn't budging....

My faith hasn't come easy to me. I don't have a specific "moment of salvation"- I don't remember getting baptized and emerging to see blurry white doves flying over me as the water was blinked from my eyes. There was no halo.... and I didn't feel even the slightest feathery brush of an angel's wing on my skin. No. For me, it has always been a struggle to just believe. Believing, for me, was as easy as breathing.... and I grew up with asthma.... a convenient word picture for my faith story: wheezing. If I could just get a deep breath in, I would be able to calm the unrest inside and release carbon dioxide as a gift to the nearest plant... but this has not been my journey. Mine has been, and continues to be, more like asking Jesus to let me put my fingers through the wounds on His hands. I don't just gotta "see it to believe it"..... I gotta feel it too. I often wonder what the ratio is of pride to mere wonder that's inside of me. I know that I have a skeptical side... which is not always a bad thing, but I also know it can be a gateway drug that often leads to pure unbelief. My lifeline in this struggle? That God is merciful. That He is full of grace and compassion, and in response to my need to investigate, He extends His Holey hand to allow my little fingers to touch the wounds as my eyes lift their gaze to His face in awestruck bewilderment. Can you imagine what "doubting Thomas" did after Jesus actually let him do this!? I would imagine he probably fell to the floor in adoration.... and in thanksgiving... that Jesus didn't deny him that desire- though He had every right to.

So.... It would be an honor to be slammed in the face with the One true God.... with pure holiness and majesty.... go ahead.... slam it in my face.... and let His goodness pass before me. If there was a movie that could succeed in doing this- it would be most welcomed :-)

Though He was God and "no one could take His life from Him," He sacrificed it voluntarily. He actually did let Himself be shoved and slammed. He wore skin and placed Himself in the hands of His creation, to be spit upon.... beaten and bruised... with scars to prove it. The humility of it all! It's UNthinkable. There has GOT to be a reason for this! You may be reading this and you may not believe, but you have to admit.... there has to be some sort of reason for this kind of act. Or maybe you think it just never happened. That's fair- I've been there too. In fact, I would say that doubt is a thorn I find myself repeatedly plucking from my side. It's Okay though, because you know what? He is the bigger man here. So much so that He would be so big as to stoop so low to kneel down and let me touch the wound so that I can take in that deep breath of faith. I grew out of my asthma... I can only hope that one can grow out of doubt as well :-)

We must decrease. Though our own hearts deceive us, and an enemy prowls to devour our very souls, we must fight to have Him increase. To have Him increase in us until we are brimming with a Spirit, Holy- as He is Holy.

With love,



  1. I'm crying at the beauty of your heart. PLEASE stop being SO HARD on the creation that the God of the universe chose to make - beautiful, radiant, YOU!

    1. Hope it was a good the kind that leaves you feeling lighter afterwards :-)

  2. Don't have an appraisal-like comment to leave. Just want to thank you for baring your heart.