I gaze around me at a world of such stunning beauty and complexity and unfathomable greatness and smallness, of spectacular violence and power, of such gentleness and peace. And yet this world, our world, bears the cross of brokenness, of blight, the consequences of our repeated rebellions and the rending of the heart of our beings as images of the Trinity, made with the electrifying capacity to love but choosing again and again not to. The galaxies and stars, the planets and moons, the circle of air and water and rock and life that makes our world, all cry out in dismay. We have become the fatal flaw, our own worst enemy. And through our disease, corruption and death have taken hold and now define all.
I was born into this world. But I have made it my own. And my own choices, my own willing participation make me indistinguishable from every broken man and woman and child that make up this broken hurting community of humanity. I have been wounded, but now I see that I have also given more than my share of grief, of pain. I am the chief among this lot of sinners. Those closest to me feel most sharply the consequences of my selfishness. I wander in a wilderness of my own making, tossed in a sea roiling with the wakes of the rebellions of others, contributing my own, created to walk on this water, I am sinking under the waves into the black abyss below.
Like Peter’s, can You grasp my hand, will You take my hand? Can you pull me out? Will You take me back into your boat? I am the sheep that no longer knows where he is, running everywhere, dropping from exhaustion, with nothing more I can do, lost and waiting for the hyenas to find an easy meal. Will You come for me? Will You find me? Am I alone until the end?
You come. Not as one against me, a prosecutor out to flay me, a judge to sentence me or a warden to punish me. But You find me, the lost one. You straighten me, the broken one; You embrace me, the abandoned one; You touch me, the leprous one; You heal me, the dying one; You free me, the imprisoned one. I begin to see, begin to understand, begin to stand and walk, begin to change, begin to experience deliverance from the mire of so many wrong ways of relating, of coping, of being.
But everywhere I am surrounded by the ruins of my past, reminders of choices that perpetuated cycles of dysfunction, remnants of the patterns of self-deception that seemed such a way of safety but proved only the way of death. And most terrible of all, I have been the cause of hurt to others. I can take responsibility for what I have done. I can ask for forgiveness. I can try to change and undo what I have done. But only You can heal. Will You heal them, too? Will You find and save them, too?
You did not stand far away and judge, but You came near and saved. You did not erase Your flawed creation, but became part of it and healed it from within. You did not abandon us to our fate, but became like us so that we might become like You.
But O Lord, there is still so much that is broken and undone, so much that is still unfinished in me. I see men as trees walking; Lord I want to see You. I still live my brokenness; make salvation more than a hope. The damage I’ve done has not been undone. Can anything I do ever fix what I’ve done?
It can’t be fixed. I can only be made new. Those I’ve hurt or damaged or grieved or manipulated or used must also be made new. My Savior, be their Savior; be their Healer; be their Restorer. Do not leave them where they are; make them Your new creation, too.