My husband with his beautiful heart reminded me yesterday of the story of the adulteress that Jesus stood up for…and wrote in the sand for…and forgave.
I wrote this piece with her in mind, and for someone else that I know needs to hear this today, even though I don’t know her yet.
I wrote it for my best friend who is brave and touched His cloak and has never looked back.
And I wrote it for me too.
Because sometimes we need to be reminded of who we were,
who we are, and who we are not.
There it is, that one little word.
That one little word, and here comes a flood of shame.
And it’s funny – but really it’s sad – how slow we are to learn but how fast we are to run, and how easy is it to hide our past so deeply that even we forget it; – tucking it all into the suitcase of Once Was – while, with our hopeful smiles we cover the label there on the front that says SHAME.
How we can hide for a long time the load our heart once carried.
Until one little word reminds us.
One little glimpse at a girl who might look like one of my girls, or your girls…or any of our girls, but who definitely looks like a younger me…
and if I didn’t love that younger me then, how could anyone?
If I didn’t stick up for her and show her how to care for herself and be strong…
why would anyone else?
How could she do that to herself?
How could she allow those things to happen?
How could she stoop so low?
How could God ever love her?
But there He is…
beautiful and bent over in front of your stooped over self…
and He’s scribbling in the sand…and what is it that He’s writing?
Maybe a word…maybe just a few letters…there He goes writing it out there for the whole world to see…right there in front of all of them…those who would love to let you know how low you are.
And you know what you’ve done. You live with what you’ve done. Your voice joins them, maybe even the loudest of all, while they keep reminding you of how stooped down and degraded you look.
The whole group of them saying it.
That’s all your ears hear anymore.
But He doesn’t join them. He’s not saying their words.
These words He puts down…He wrote these words just for you.
Maybe His scribbles were bigger than the ones your ears and heart and self-confidence have been hearing for so long.
Maybe that word from His hand was heavier than the weight of shame you’ve been carrying,
and then when they all walked away because His one little word exposed the ugly truth of it all,
maybe their voices and their echoes trailed off with them…
and now you can start to stand up a bit taller…
only Jesus was left.
You split the sea so I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me so I could stand and sing
I am a child of God.
And as you started to stand…started to look up…maybe that’s when He reached down on high and took hold of you and drew you out of the deep waters…and maybe that’s when you put your hand in the hand that stilled the waters, and when you did He calmed your shame and He didn’t condemn you but instead He told you to leave your life of sin and He gently took hold of you and He said Follow me.
Maybe it hasn’t happened just yet, but it will because He stands at your door and knocks, and He’s standing there now…but it’s a gentle knock, not loud and demanding or kicking down the door of our heart like the others do.
He’s won’t demean you.
He won’t play games with you.
He won’t use you.
He won’t hurt you.
He doesn’t want you for His selfish purposes.
He won’t leave you laying there vulnerable, yearning, hoping this time for something that isn’t there.
He won’t ask you to harden your heart and put a shell of sarcasm and jokes around it to help protect from the pain…the want…the rejection…the lonliness.
He’ll embrace you like you’ve never ever been embraced before and He won’t ever let go and He will wipe those tears that will finally come as He softens you and He will lift you off the bed of filth and sin and He will make you never want to be in that place again and He will cradle your heart and He will be tender with that delicate side you’ve been hiding and He will show you exactly how beautiful and treasured and valuable you are because you are His child and He made you and He loves you and wants you to be free.
He will give you pictures of the things He wants to do in your life and He will show you how you can change the world for good when you let Him shine through you.
He will walk with you through the hard times instead of walking away and causing hard times.
He will talk kindly and straight to you – through you – instead of whispering behind your back to others about all the things you’ve done.
He will show you goodness.
He will show you your goodness.
He will show you His goodness.
He will show you true goodness and you won’t ever want to let it go even though sometimes it may feel scary and unfamiliar.
He won’t leave when He’s done.
Because when He’s done is only after you’ve walked with Him and talked with Him all your years, and you’ve clung to that old rugged cross all your days, and you’ve praised with all your breath that up from the grave He arose…
until one day you’re with Him in person and He’ll hug you long and tell you how glad He is that you’re home and He’ll say you did good girl. Now stay with me forever.
So you grab that hand with the holes, that hand that stilled the water,
and don’t you let anyone tell you not to, not even your scared self who might want to mock and scoff.
He can take your laughter and your fears and He’ll still be there so go on and let Him take hold and calm your seas and take your shame and let Him grow you.
And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:22
You are redeemed. He already bought you honey.
You’re HIS girl.
Let Him build you into who He made you to be.
Listen to HIS words. Read them as often as you can. Put them in your pocket and up in your heart and when your ears want to hear the nasty words, remember His letters in the sand and sing and make music in your heart to the Lord… or if all you’ve got is a deep cry and groaning of your soul, He understands that too.
Remember the words He wrote for you.
Hold onto them like they are your life itself because they are.
when you’re a little stronger and you’ve learned to stand straight, and you’re learning this thing He calls victory and you hear Him say
Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering…
you might see someone who is still stooped low.
So you will be able to tell her.
That she is worthy.
That she is loved.
That she is valuable.
That she can leave her life of sin.
That she is forgiven.
That she can stand up straight now.
That she can be healed.
That she is free.
You’ll be able to show her the words He wrote for her.
And you’ll be able to point her to Him.
If you are the girl that needed this piece today, I love you and I want you to reach for the light of the Lord who bought your freedom and who will break your chains. If you carry shame, please know He took that shame upon Himself so that you can live life free from sin and full of His spirit.
Fight your way out. Let Him fight for you too. Because He will. I promise you. He did for me and I fight every day to remember that He fought for me and fights for me still, and that I belong to Him.
That fight is worth it. With every breath in me, I promise you the fight is worth it.
Written into this piece are many scriptures, song, and lyrics. I list them below because I know sometimes we need something positive to focus on while we pull ourselves up, but the best thing for you to do is to get with Jesus Himself through prayer, confess your sins to Him, put it all on His cross and ask Him to help you give and live your life to Him and to turn it around. Then find a loving brother or sister in Christ and let them show you how to put your hand in His and how to keep it there all your days.
If it’s you that I wrote this piece for, I love you so much.
Jesus loves you even more. Don’t spend one more day of your precious life without Him.
Into marvelous light I’m running, Out of darkness, out of shame. By the cross you are the truth, You are the life, you are the way
My dead heart now is beating, My deepest stains now clean. Your breath fills up my lungs. Now I’m free. Now I’m free!
~Marvelous Light, Charlie Hall
References within “One Little Word”:
-Jesus Forgives an Adulteress Woman: John 8:1-11
-2 Samuel 22:17 He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.
-Luke 18:22 “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; and come, follow me.”
-Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
-Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.“
-Romans 8:26 For we do not know what to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
-Mark 5:34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Songs & Hymns:
-No Longer Slaves, Bethel Music
-Put Your Hand in the Hand, Anne Murray
-In the Garden, written by C. Austin Miles
-The Old Rugged Cross, written by George Bennard
-Christ Arose, written by Robert Lowry
-Wonderful Words of Life, written by Phillip Bliss
-Marvelous Light, Charlie Hall
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being. So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19