It lies in all of us. Some more than others.
That desire to please. The desire to be better, work harder run stronger. But not in the way that motivates and spurs us on – but in that soul crushing, defeating way.
That craving to be as good as our friends. Found as worthy. As valuable and as precious. But often we are found wanting. Maybe not by anyone else but our own cruel selves.
I think it’s called shame. There is always something; always more we could be or more we should have been. We feel marred. We feel second class. We feel that no matter what we do or what we say or how we act, we can never make the cut – the cut of life.
Whatever it is, there is that deep missing component in our lives aching for fulfillment; aching to lessen the grip of unworthiness.
When I go through those dark caverns of life, I reach for my Bible. What does He say about me?
Psalm 8:3 says, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that care for them?
Luke 12:6,7 says, “What’s the price of two or three pet canaries? Some loose change, right? But God never overlooks a single one. And he pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.
Zephaniah 3:17 says,
“Don’t be afraid
Your God is present among you,
a strong Warrior there to save you.
Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love
and delight you with his songs.
That’s how Jesus views us. He is happy to have us back. He is going to sing his love songs to us. He knows how many hairs we have on our head!
The one who flung the stars into space with one wild imagination and a few words. The One who paints the canvas of the sky with liquid fire and tangerine hues. The One who saw to every detail of every animal that walks and crawls and flies and swims the beautiful earth that he formed with his breath.
He made everything. E.VERY.THING. And yet, we are his favourite. I love that. I can’t completely understand it but I know that I love it.
In the bible when the harlot crept into a crowded room to wash Jesus’ feet as a sign of total surrender, I wonder if she was afraid to meet His gaze? I wonder if she was afraid of what she might find when she looked into his eyes? I think she avoided even looking up until she heard him sticking up for her in front of the condemning crowd. When she finally stole a quick look she gasped at what she saw. Because she didn’t see condemnation. She didn’t see disappointment or sadness at her marred and broken soul. Instead she saw forgivenss. She saw redemption. She saw freedom.
What do you see when you look into his eyes? What do you see there? Do you see a flash of anger? Do you see disgust? Do you see judgment?
We all see different things. Part of it is from our upbringing. Part of it is the circles that we run around in right now in our lives. But what I have found over the years, is that often the God that someone sees, whether they are christian or not is the God constructed out of their own sense of worthiness. In essence they are staring right into the eyes of Jesus and they see their reflection instead of Jesus himself. Do you feel marred? Unholy? Do you want to look away as you look into Jesus eyes? Or do you want to swim in the vast blue waters of his gaze? Do you want to run? Or do you want to stay and soak in every scrap of wild love that He has for you?
Close your eyes and look into his. Your answer to me might surprise you. Because always there is that tendency to believe that he sees us through the filter of our own shame. The beauty though – is that he does not. He looks past the pain, he looks past the brokeness, he sees past the scars and his eyes sparkle with delight as he sees the golden treasure that we are to him. He looks at us only with pure and undefiled eyes. He sees us through the filter of his passionate love. That love that drove him to the cross even when everything within Him did not want to go.
He did it for us.