Note: I wrote this about two years ago, but the ideas and emotions behind the words have been a part of my daily walk for as long as I can remember. The hope of Christ and his redemption has propelled me through my personal struggles, and is the only way that I can look at both the present and future with peace. -KJR
I am broken.
As I go throughout my life, day after day, I am constantly reminded just how horrible I am. My every thought, every action, is tainted. I can try and try to wash myself clean, but it seems like as soon as my life seems like it is white again, I spill. I fall and stain my soul, again and again. Just when it seems like I’ve put the pieces together again, it crumbles apart.
I never wanted it to be this way. Or did I?
I always assumed that I hated the sin that I so often commit, but sometimes, it’s like I don’t. In fact, maybe I actually, well, like it. I enjoy doing things that feel good… who wouldn’t? Isn’t it human? It’s more convenient that way, it feels better, and often times it’s like I don’t have a choice.
Quite frankly, it’s just easier.
But it doesn’t last. It never lasts.
When the initial feeling is gone, it’s replaced by guilt. It’s replaced by a deep sense of worthlessness, a primal cry of sorrow welling up within me. It’s a feeling like I’m trapped, trapped in an endless cyclone, with my sinful thoughts, actions, words, and feelings twirling around me, with no way out. There is nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. It’s like I have no control. It’s like I have no choice but to continue to accept these sins as the cyclone of my own filth destroys me from the inside out.
Eventually, it’s just numb. It’s as if I don’t even care about my sins anymore. I’m too far in to feel guilt, too far in to resist.
I am broken.
The world around me doesn’t seem any better. I never have to look far to see others consumed in greed, lust, selfishness, lies, impurities, theft, idols, or complacency.
But then, something happens. Whether it’s a bright spring morning, a kind word, or a song of praise, something pierces through the veil. And all of the sudden, I can see it. There’s something… different.
It’s not covered in the scum that so often coats the world I see. It’s actually good. So good, that it draws me in, hoping. Hoping that maybe, this time, the good will last, maintained by something greater than myself.
And it does. It’s a good that doesn’t fade, doesn’t transform into guilt, a good I can be proud of. It simply… lasts.
It feels whole. It is whole.
I catch these glimpses of God, of his infinite wisdom, power, glory, and compassion, and it is perfect. But it doesn’t just catch my attention. It grabs it. It’s like God is reaching into my tornado of transgressions, picking me up, and ripping me out of my self-inflicted hell. I could try to escape on my own (although I usually didn’t want to), but I’d always fail. But like a hot knife through butter, He reaches in and rescues me. He sees me for what I truly am, and yet he reveals his incredible reality to me anyway.
That reality shines through the blood of his son, Jesus Christ, who came down to the earth and beat all the same temptations that defeat me every day. He beat them, and then he took the punishment for every time I lose to them. That reality wipes my slate clean. It blows the cyclone away, wipes the scum off of me, and gives me hope.
Hope that in him, I might be something better. Instead of being this self-afflicted soul, a miserable, scheming, treacherous human being, I can be something more. I can be a child of God. I can relish the safety, comfort, and hope that radiates from His reality. I can be a person that I can occasionally be proud of, through Christ!
It doesn’t erase the sins of my past (or present or future for that matter), I’m still a sinner just like everyone else. I still fall back into the same traps, the same pit. But time after time, He pulls me out. For reasons that I cannot even begin to comprehend, He always saves me, and gives me the strength to slowly become a clearer reflection of him.
I am still broken.
And yet, I am whole.