“But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.” (Psalm 130:4)
I sat there with her, watched her as tears ran down her cheeks and I felt it, the hurt of the sharp words that cut through the gentle heart, the weight of having to bear all this one more day yet again so unbearable — and I knew, the heavy set of darkness surrounding a kind soul would take time, would need time to let the light find in through the cracked corners and broken pieces. I knew, oh I knew — the brokenness of a soul wounded while so undeserving, the hurt now woven into the strings of a beautiful soul and I witnessed once more, this grace that never ceases to amaze me.
I can see the hurt flowing in waves, the echo of a wounded heart loud in her eyes when she lifts up her chin and looks at me, and I knew — this, this is grace. Because never did she mention the hurt tha,t tore through the fragile walls of her heart. Never did she even try to defend herself, accepting humbly the anger of another, knowing fully well she did not deserve the least of it. Beneath the storm of the wounding words that break a heart right in half, there was something greater rising — this forgiveness, so undeserved, yet freely given.
This here, I have no doubt — is a picture of heaven, the forgiveness flowing so easy and so our God bends down to meet us where we are, His beloved Son wounded for our transgressions and love covers all our sins. I cannot help but notice, this truth loud in every beat of my heart: we are so undeserving, even of the least of the forgiveness of our great God. We see it, we see it in our own hearts: the deep darkness and the despair, the sinful wickedness and plain ugly selfishness. We feel it — in the words we speak without thinking, in the acts of kindness we refuse to extend, in the stubbornness of our unrelenting soul. This here, our hearts? I feel the weight of it, too, my friend.
But this is not the end, beloved.
There is that one word, that lifts the weight of the darkness and speaks light into the core of our soul: but. Blessed but, that leads us into the forgiveness of our merciful God. For all our failures and shortcomings, for all our weaknesses and great faults — there is forgiveness with Him, His mighty hands ready to extend and welcome you in the moment you come confessing. And I know, oh I know, it hurts — to plain come and admit, that you could not do it, that you tried on your own and did not have it in you. But there is forgiveness with Him, to cover all with His love and this, the greatness of this radical grace can never quite be understood.
I wondered there and then about what to tell her, whether words would help soothe the ache of a wounded heart or maybe help her carry her pain a little further. But there were no words, only this notion — that we must be broken to pieces to appreciate the whole. This time, this new chance of trying again, for no failure needs to be final.
We will never be perfect, never complete before we are with Jesus. But that is okay.