I am a sinner.
Like not just a pat on the head, pour baby, pitiful little sinner. Like a get-it-wrong-every-day sinner.
Being disobedient to God is about as bad as you can get in life. This happens everyday, sometimes small and sometimes regrettably big. I will feel dirty in His presence, unworthy to speak His name, and unfit to feel His embrace. My human nature surfaces each day even though I try to keep her tucked under the covers each morning.
Somehow He looks at me. My God looks at me, like I have some value in this big world. Somehow we see two different things in the mirror. I see a little girl that can’t measure up, and He draws a line on the wall and says “look how much you’ve grown”.
Why the difference? Why can He do what I am unable to do when I look in the mirror? Why can’t I see what God saw enough to send His Son to die for me in my place, to pay a price I owe and a debt that keeps piling up with each sunrise and sunset? Why is His perspective so much different, what does He see, what am I missing?
The more I think this through, the more I stare at that girl in the mirror, the more I look around at every other sinner at this coffee shop, and the more I realize that God doesn’t just see the sin, he also sees our wounds.
He doesn’t just see Emily, He sees His little girl looking to her Father asking for forgiveness for not being everything I know He asks me to be. He sees a girl asking to be worthy before Him. He doesn’t just see a girl. My God looks at me and sees more than a sinner, he sees a girl on crutches with a heart that’s broken open, a bruise on my right ankle, a scar on my face and a cast on my left arm. He’s sees a wounded sinner.
None of those things are actually there, but he sees the emotional scars attached to our disappointing sin and shame. That’s where His compassion comes from, from the image He sees when he looks at us struggling and on our knees. That’s how He sees a heart in need of love instead of a heart made of stone. He sees a wounded soul desperate for affection, in need of a Savior, longing for love, and turning in the wrong direction to find it sometimes.
He sees our heart and knows our story. He isn’t fixated on your sin because He knows there’s more to it. He’s not proud, but He holds your hand in the storm and on your way out of it.
He does all this while He gets out the tape measure and says “watch this, you’re about to grow”. The pains that come along with growth aren’t fun, and the time it takes your body and soul to heal from external and internal wounds is more of a process than a step. But He’s there with us.
We can heal. We can go from a wounded sinner to remembering we were wonderfully created by our God. That He knew we would get it wrong and created us anyway!
He inspires me. How does He do it?
What would it look like if we had His heart for a week, for a day even? To look around and see sinners with compassion instead of being quick to condemnation.
What if we looked around at everyone as if they were on crutches? We wouldn’t start with small talk if that were the case, we would ask how their leg is doing, we would ask if there is anything we could do for them, we would offer them our chair not wanting them to have to stand.
What if we looked at sinners as if they had a wounded, tender, and scared soul and we reached out our hand? What if we showed love before we showed judgment, on even ourselves?
Want to know the secret? Want to know how we can see a world full of wounded sinners?
Come in closer. I don’t want you to miss this.
It starts with looking down or looking in that mirror and realizing that you have a cast on your arm too, that you are walking around on crutches like me, like all of us. We can look at the people in our lives as wounded sinners when we see that we are one too.
Let’s hobble around together, grabbing each other’s hands, look to our Savior, and all park in those handicap parking spots, because they are reserved for all of us.
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Another amazing growing taller Emily! Thanks God. I wish there was a day you could meet me half way and we could share for a couple hours! Hugs and God’s peace always my sweet friend.
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