Truth about myself can be hard to stomach. Have you ever wanted to get away from yourself? I have! Often. The problem is that I take me with me. . .everywhere.
Yet, when I have the guts to square up to the reality of my heart, there is a fresh sense of freedom. I can reject the propensity to hide. I can be fully known, and intimately loved.
I sent an insensitive text to my friend, Linda, the other day. She is a good friend. One who knows me well. Isn’t it easier to hurt those with whom we are the most familiar? She told me that I hurt her. Then, knowing that I would probably experience some shame in the reality that I don’t love perfectly, and, even more so, that I was found out, she moved toward me in a profound way. She texted:
“I was thinking a little bit today that true freedom is not found in perfection or performance, it is found in squarely facing the truth about ourselves. Our hope is not in our ability to do it ‘right’, but in the reality that we are lavished with grace and mercy in failure and in triumph. Honestly, I think often we don’t want true freedom. We mostly want to not be exposed in our humanity and our need for the gospel. We want our hope to be in our success, not in the cross.”
Jesus, God the Son, spoke the world into existence. At just the right time, he “became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
God, the creator, was pushed through the birth canal of a teenage girl. Amazing! He walked among us. He died a gruesome death for every ugly reality of my heart. . .and yours. Embracing both the reality of our desperate need for him, and the reality of his great work of grace on the cross, brings intimacy and freedom. He is the reality that allows us to be truly known, and truly loved.
Because of this, we get to be a people who live in community with nothing to hide and nothing to prove. We can help one another experience the truth of our need for deep forgiveness and profound life change, and the grace of being deeply loved and delighted in right where we are. We can share deep struggles with one another without being judged, for we are all only made right in him. In that context we can call one another to be all that we are made to be in freedom, as Jesus makes us more like himself.
I read an excellent article the other day by Tim Kreider in the NY Times. He writes with candor about the human heart. If you get the time to read it, I think you’d enjoy it. ( http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/15/i-know-what-you-think-of-me/?smid=fb-share&_r=0 ) He ends the article by saying, “If we want the rewards of being loved we have to submit to the mortifying ordeal of being known.” The grace of the gospel says, we are completely known, and profoundly and deeply loved. Freedom!