Romans 3:23-25 (New International Version)
23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.
The phone rang and it was Frances on the other end sharing an epiphany. As she spoke I grabbed my pen and started to write. I almost always want to write what she says.
Once when I tried to convince her to write herself, she said, "I have a hard enough time keeping up with my thoughts in spoken words, but if I was trying to write, my mind would be on word number 10,000 and my pen would be at word number two!”
So it's up to me and often I try to write her words down as they flow out at high speed.
This morning God was working out in her something wonderful. She was the friend in the post of September 1st--Flawed Yet Favoured. She was down but not out--and the story continues.
Embracing who I am, in fulness and freedom has been my own journey recently--not thinking more of myself than others, but not thinking less, either.
With Frances it took a slightly different slant. She discovered that being fully who she is was necessary in order to be able to fully repent. Because she was able to fully repent, God enabled her to fully embrace and fully accept that part of herself that she would rather deny.
She said, "If you pooh-pooh it, run away from it, or deny it, there is no repentance or tranformation. I had to be thoroughly ashamed and convicted."
"That is a part of who I am, vulgar, angry," she said.
"A part of who Jesus died for, 2,000 years ago, when I was still uncreated."
"Who we are, " she said, "Crap and all, is who he died for."
Since the incident that caused so much shame and regret, Frances has been praying for the salvation of the man who was the target of her anger. Something very good is coming out of it.
Isaiah 64:6 (New International Version)
6 All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
"The good and the best that we can offer is filthy rags," said Frances, "When you think of who you are and how much you are loved--it's bizarre!"
"My righteousness is filthy rags--my righteousness! If my righteousness is filthy rags--my unrighteousness my personality, my quickness must be "what?"
Romans 5:20 (New King James Version)
20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,
"Rather than letting sin abound, I'm fully accepting that God made me who I am and I am praying, 'Lord develop in my your patience.'"
"And patience isn't something you get quickly. There's the irony of it."
My friend Dwayne wrote on his blog, for June 25th, at http://www.damkes.blogspot.com/ "I've learned that God prefers to use screw-ups - people that don't have it together and are not likely candidates to the rest of us."
I'm so glad he does--because then, perhaps, he can even use me.