Cleansing Fire...

As I look upon the crucifix, I remember that it is for me. Not in a nice way... but in that gut wrenching, sweaty, bloody way... when Christ crucified gazes upon our sin. We are naked like Adam and Eve before Him and we struggle and hide and are ashamed but He continues to see. His look penetrates with the light of truth and even the crumbs that we think we have shoved down deeply enough to hide even from Him are exposed. His gaze is pure love and it burns and hurts us because we are not yet strong enough to rest in it.

What is it that makes it so much easier sometimes to forgive than to be forgiven? I approach the cross in shame and want to run and hide. "Don't love me!" I am not worth that kind of sacrifice. The temptation rises again and again to say, "You shouldn't have done it! Not for me. Come down from that Cross!"

My sins overcome my mind like a blanket of grief. I do not know how to bear it... how can my Lord stand to keep me in His sights?

Why do You let me fall, Lord? Dare I ask you to pick me up yet again? And what of the ones I have hurt? I beg you to heal them since I cannot.

I see others that I love walk this same painful path of doubt and wish that I could take it from them. I know that I cannot and all I can do is pray and hold their hands and reassure them that I love them with all my might and main. And if I can do so even in the midst of sorrow and disappointment, how much more will our Heavenly Father do so?

I see the mirror of my own doubts and fears in the other pair of eyes. They say, I do not deserve your love or His. 

Then I feel my heart swell with mercy and compassion almost to the point of breaking... and catch a glimpse of the heart of Christ.

We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:2-5)

Lord Jesus, You alone can see to the depths of my soul and shed light on what I would have remain dark. Cover me in the brilliance of Your love and expose all that needs Your cleansing fire. Please grant me the courage to lay myself entirely at the foot of your Cross. Have mercy on me in my weakness and teach me to walk again in faith. 

Posted on January 11, 2011 and filed under "forgiveness".