You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book? Psalm 56:8
The following is based off of the insight of a college student. Last night, right before worship, this precious girl stood up and shared a picture the Lord had given her while she was spending time with Him earlier this week. It was one of those words that was so beautiful I was just wrecked inside. It was so huge. It was so big. I’ve been thinking about this whole morning, and I thought of a few people I so wanted to share it with, that I figured I might as well put it out here for everyone to take it. It’s the kind of word that is like a spread at Luby’s. It’s got enough to go around. It’s not meant for just the few. I am not sure why I just compared this really amazing word to something from Luby’s…but hopefully you get the picture. This is my narrative version of her words:
Failures. I wake up to them. I go to sleep with them. I dream about them. They haunt me when I’m alone, and they surface when I’m in a crowded room. Am I growing at all? Am I learning? Has any part of me changed since He came into my life? Or am I just the sum of my missing pieces, the scarred flesh of a wounded and wounding soul who is wearily searching the earth for some sort of repose? Have I travelled in circles for forty years of wandering, never getting any closer to my destination, never putting any miles between where I am and where I began? How can He be pleased with me, when there are days the only steps I take are in retreat, the only movements I make are backwards towards what I was, instead of towards what He wants me to be? Everytime someone talks about how much God loves me, I can’t help but feel a swell of shame in my chest. Why would He love me when I’ve nothing to give Him? How could He love me when I’ve failed Him this much?
And then I feel His hand in mine, clutching me close to Himself and willing me to follow Him. We’re walking through the halls of His home, so beautiful and unstained in its perfection. The more I see of that perfect place in which He lives, the more I’m aware how pitiful my attempt at making a home in my heart for Him truly is; He lives here? With all of this? And I offer Him a jigsaw puzzle of ill-fitted pieces? He can sense my unrest, and His searching glance is laced with pity. He quickens His pace, and we pass room after room of beautiful splendor, breath-taking majesty. Soon we’re running, He with sure, steady strides, and my legs awkwardly trying to keep pace. Down, down, down the halls of His home until we reach it. It’s a library filled with countless books, their casings worn from use and their volumes precious from handling. He makes a sweeping motion with his arm, across the walls that are teeming with these, His favorite chapters, and He stares right into my eyes and says, “These books are filled with every thought you’ve ever had about me. Every sentence, every word, every desire, every prayer you have ever uttered about Me and to Me, I’ve written down; I love to look through them, I love to read them again, I love to hear your heart for Me.”
And I’m standing in the middle of this space, this room where He feels so comfortable, lined with these innumerable books that are filled with my sloppy, second-hand thoughts and feeble attempts at knowing Him, and I’m left speechless. He kept all of them? That prayer from second grade? That sudden impulse I had in sixth grade to be baptized? That tear I cried in Juarez when I saw the abundance of joy in those who had nothing? That whisper of a prayer for help when I was in the middle of warring desires in my soul? That warm glow of thanksgiving I felt when I held my baby girl for the first time? You kept all of those? My eyes are hungrily taking in every book, every memory, every moment, the ones I’ve forgotten and the promises I’ve failed to keep, and realizing You haven’t failed to remember.
And then I hear Your voice again, saying, “As for your wrongs, your failures, and your trespasses against Me…I keep no record of them.”