There is no fear in love.
But perfect love drives out fear,
because fear has to do with punishment.
The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
-- 1 John 4:18 --
This is love for God: to obey his commands.
And his commands are not burdensome,
for everyone born of God overcomes the world.
This is the victory that has overcome the world,
even our faith.
-- 1 John 5:3-4 --
It's been the kind of day when I want to close the Facebook accounts, kiss social media goodbye, and close the curtains on the blogging fishbowl.
In fact, I had a blog in mind to write. Already had it written in my mind, actually.
I've had enough...of not being enough. Two bills missed during the intake of 11 different perscriptions and not enough intake of air. A computer break I can't fix. A garage door come off its tracks, and the irony slams me hard and teary. Still, in my delusion I thought I was doing okay. The bills were covered. The computer...who knows? The garage door functional even with the bumps and creaks, and the irony makes me chuckle. Not perfect, but not failing...
...or so I thought...
...Until the nice folks explained just how off track I am, how deficit my abilities, and how unuseful I am in my broken state. I really had no idea how totally not enough I am until these deeply concerned Christian folks told me.
And their voices are loud when there is no one at the dinner table to tell me otherwise, and a passing "love you" gets lost in the week of daily emails, calls, and texts letting me know these kind souls are praying for me because after all, they know I have a lot of healing to do and God will someday use it for His glory. They look forward to when that day comes.
I shake my head and sit in my floor and search the quiet. After fighting a virus that steals voice and air and energy for nearly seven weeks, do I have the energy...or desire...to fight people who steal Voice and Air and energy now?
Is it worth the battle when people can't see God in me because they can't see who I am in God?
If I make no difference with what I say what difference does it make if I say nothing?
And if all they see is the way I am not what they think I should be, how will they ever see what God says I am?
And I am battle-weary, and what is the point in fighting a battle I can't win anyway?
"Fine. The Christians win, God."
And I am done.
And the resignation letter rolls through my head.
Then I log onto my computer, and these random verses that sound like a not-so-random Voice blink at me, and I stop.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
And I sink deep on my floor, and my head rests on the wall. My eyes close, and the tears slip anyway.
My voice is lost, but my heart cries loud, "My greatest fear is missing you, and I if this is of you but they are missing you in it..."
They missed me in Christ.
My heart whispers quiet, "But He is Christ, and I am just--"
They saw imperfection in how He lived. I saw perfection in how He loved.
To love God is to obey...and to obey isn't burden, it is blessing, so why do I feel so burdened?
And what do I do with days when I don't feel like I am overcoming the world but feel the world is coming down on me?
And the Voice whispers tender because really, I am ready to give way beneath it all, and I hear Him, "And your victory that overcomes...that keeps you out from under...that digs you out and holds you up...is your faith. Jerri, do you have faith in who I say you are? Do you have faith in what I call you to be? Do you have faith that my Voice is the only voice, and if I say you are enough, all other voices are noise? Jerri, it is your faith. I am your faith. I am the One who loves you."
Yes, He is. He always is.
Where others see need, He sees the kneeling.
And kneeling is the accepting of love poured out...right where I am...on who I am..on all I am...my weaknesses where He fights for me...
...The place He asks me to stand for Him in ways that cross others' ideas of "enough" because they don't understand the only way to be enough is to be put on a cross.
And crosses aren't pretty, and they aren't perfect, and they leave the one hanging naked for all to see, and the imperfections of the flesh are held up for eyes who can only see the inability to be like others.
But isn't that my Lent? Seeing the love in the cross?
The love people called faulty and failing, the perfection of obedience deemed a life to imperfect to be useful?
Isn't that the Lent I plead for in my asking for His love full? To look in the mirror and see that love alive in me? How do I see His love full in me unless I can see myself fully in His love?
And isn't it insanity...this love that hangs on a cross...that embraces the imperfections of the human flesh laid bare for all to see to be made perfect in the love of a God who sees perfectly?
My heart laughs joy. He isn't the voices demanding perfection. He is the one offering it.
The most perfect thing I can do...is believe Him. And in the craziness that is the love He drowns me in, that is enough.