Love (Sinners' Edition)7:30 AM
You know those weeks. The ones where you're ready to beat yourself up, throw yourself on your bed and cry for an eternity. The ones where there's logically nothing wrong with you and there's no way you can fix what's not wrong. And yet you feel all wrong. All broken. All ugly inside. All you want is someone to love you and yet you're keenly aware of the fact that there's absolutely nothing to love.
(Hang on, all you emotionally-together people - let those of us inclined to tears hold the floor for just a second.)
I have those weeks - maybe it's my introvert taking over my life. True, I'm a certified drama queen who will have her sister text "We're running out of gas" (period) to her parents while driving in a snowstorm. My mum finds me sobbing over - "What's the matter?" - "I don't know!" at regular intervals in the week. But sometimes I wonder, stuck somewhere between all the hormones and theatrics, if I, a bona fide teenager, can really know pain. If, sometimes, there really is something wrong. If, possibly, that ugliness and despair isn't just a figment of my hormonal imagination.
There must be...because in those weeks, I seem to be struck with the whole strength of my sinfulness. It bowls me over. It stains every inch of life, and I want nothing more than to just quit and hide under the bed covers until kingdom come.
Thanks to my introvertism - or pride - or self-consciousness - my worth and my ability to be perfect is inseparable. A compliment, to me, becomes another lock on my chain - "Okay, Bailey, she praised you, so now you can't let her down ever." So when I fail (newsflash: I do - who knew?), I don't only feel unrighteous...but unloved. And if unloved, then what's the point of going on? It's so hard to turn around, pick up the pieces and give them back to God.
But to be unloved by man...that's a bummer. To be unloved by God...that's unbearable.
What my Savior has taught me - and it defies all reason, especially in light of His justice - what He has taught me is that He shares my pain. He knows that crushing burden of sin, tearing us from God's love, breaking apart our foundation. We, God's children - we don't know sinfulness as well as our Savior. We have His grace. We have His love. We were spared His just wrath and were set apart for salvation. Any separation, any feeling of unlove is caused by our refusal to take hold of His forgiveness - not His refusal to offer it.
But Christ? He became sin. He took on the full, unlimited wrath of God for the sins of all - and being perfect, He felt the full weight of the inadequacy, the filth, the ugliness. We can't know - we only have the sin we bear, and even that deadened by our sin nature. How great must have been the love of the One who separated Himself from His Father so that we could draw near - who became sin so that we could be righteous - who took the blame so that we could go free.