Thirsty years ago my suicidal, bulimic Hollywood existence collided with a power I had never experienced. This Love so ransacked my world that I was instantaneously healed of an eating disorder that I had been plagued with for years. I’ve never had to binge on loaves of bread, boxes of cereal or pass out from the high carbohydrate intake again. I’ve enjoyed the freedom of eating one cooking and not two bags.
Naively and eagerly I jumped into my new Christian world with an open heart and open hands. I followed instructions like an astute soldier, “Don’t do this” and “do a lot of that,” struggling for years to work harder to become someone acceptable and pleasing to God.
I excelled at this new version of self-help and peddled faster and harder to merely end up as desperate and suicidal as I had been in my old life. It was the mercy of God that I couldn’t jump as high as some hoop holders required, landing me ousted from the “insiders” club and branded as an “outsider,” still to this day by many.
This striving to placate a God-over-there, always out of reach, needing to be appeased, so He’ll show up, touch lives and bring revival, keeps the hamster wheel turning, and with it the need to always work harder, as if God was insufficient.
As I got in touch with a huge incongruence with this version of the Gospel and began to grasp the true nature of God’s Love, my endless need to do something to define my identity and help Him out began to erode.
God swung the doors of the prisons open. He never intended that fear would contain the captives instead of reveal their freedom.
Why do we think a bitter, schizophrenic cocktail of judgment, fear, shame and a “work harder” ethic are holy? Why do we think they entice one to love in the slightest? It’s amazing anyone stays in the faith with this message.
Only do-gooders and rule keepers have a stake in plumping their nests, but Jesus had nothing to do with them. He preferred the rough and tumble authenticity of real humanity.
One can never grasp their true identity without seeing it through the eyes of love and the eyes of the spirit. God doesn’t parcel out snippets of love to the worthy. God is Love and consistently exhibits audacious demonstrations of His nature because of who He is, despite any attempt of worthiness on our part. It never changes. There is no inside or outsider in Love.
Love always exists.
Recognizing our completeness invalidates any attempt to add to it. Seeing God, ourselves, or others through any other lens is sure to be slanted.
If your someone who thinks you need to work for something that’s already yours, go ahead if you want to, but I’m slipping my shoes off, taking a sip of love’s refreshing goodness, because I’ve retired from striving and seeking what’s already been lavished upon me.
My identity is forever secure as one that is Love-embraced. What else is there to add?
If you feel the need to peddle a hard yielding message and the idea of grace that you had nothing to do with just flies in the face of your set-the-world-right-heroism, please feel free to unfriend me. But guess what, even your faith is a gift and not your own.
As for me, I am a grateful recipient of Love’s outrageous goodness. Long gone are the days of jumping through hoops! I am complete and mystically placed smack dab into divinity. While I cannot begin to comprehend this, I am okay with being a happy recipient!