My song is love unknown, my Savior’s love to me,
Love to the loveless shown that they might lovely be.
Oh, who am I that for my sake
My Lord should take frail flesh and die?
“Love to the loveless shown that they may lovely be . . . “ And I in flesh and bone and all my shortcomings and all my wandering frustrations concentrated, deliberate, stormy choices, disobedience, fallings, pain. Eyes aghast I look at Him-bleeding, perfect, spotless Lamb, innocent and holy—there is no connection, no way across...
The ragged walls surround me, walls of pride, walls of indifference, walls of self-sufficiency and “I-am-good-enough.” How much more-- how much more do I need to “give up”? Haven’t I done enough, put my 10% into the plate of offering? I don’t do “bad things”, I don’t curse, I don’t steal, I don’t murder, I don’t smoke. I wear modest clothing. I don’t watch TV. Is there more? I am empty . . . Is there more? And how do I experience the presence of the Most Holy in my day-to-day life? Is the Bible alive, the presence of the Father a burning bush to my soul, or is it a dead, dry leaf, dusty and unremembered, placed neatly on a shelf next to all of my Christian fiction-or, better still-Taste of Home magazines...?
Is there more? Is there joy? Joy unspeakable and full of glory?
I shake my soul and ask, ask honestly, fire hard questions there—I give my 10%, but do I meet a brother or sister’s urgent need when it costs me something, when it digs deep into my comfort? I don’t let 4-letter-words-- maybe then people would not think so well of me-- spring out of my lips, but do I secretly resent the things that happen to me--biting down hard on His Father-will, so hard that it draws blood? I don’t take what is not physically mine, but do I withhold good when it is due?
The blood rises up, into my ears, and I feel uncomfortable; I clear my throat . . . I don’t murder, Lord! But how many times, just this week, have I held spiteful anger in my heart towards a brother or sister? The outward things—so easy for me to be proud of abstaining from-- smoking (maybe just because it’s not in style anymore?) and my neat denim jumpers (Oh Lord, bless me for I am not like other women . . .!).
Ever the motive, ever the heart . . . the heart is deceitful, above all things . . . I feel the desperate wickedness and I close my eyes . . . No TV, Lord . . . but how many hours do I waste on other forms of media—how many worthless hours on my computer, on my Ipod, on my cell-phone? The heart, the motive . . . and ever Jesus’ eyes piercing, touching the places that are dark with uncomfortable, revealing-holy light. The hours that I spend, that I waste—how much time do I spend in His Word, in His presence through prayer, in pressing into memory the words of His Book?
Joy, joy, seeking joy-seeking a connection, a way across---Jesus----His hand touches mine. I eat the bread and drink the cup of His Presence. Reality to me, a daughter of grace. And His eyes search mine and speak to my shortcomings, my failing, forgive my sins . . .
Depth of mercy! Can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God His wrath forbear,
Me, the chief of sinners, spare?
I have long withstood His grace,
Long provoked Him to His face,
Would not hearken to His calls,
Grieved Him by a thousand falls.
I my Master have denied,
I afresh have crucified,
And profaned His hallowed Name,
Put Him to an open shame.
Jesus speaks, and pleads His blood!
He disarms the wrath of God;
Now my Father's mercies move,
Justice lingers into love.
There for me the Savior stands,
Shows His wounds and spreads His hands.
God is love! I know, I feel;
Jesus weeps and loves me still.
Now incline me to repent,
Let me now my sins lament,
Now my foul revolt deplore,
Weep, believe, and sin no more.