Saving Grace

Do I want to be saved?  That is quite the question isn’t it?  Until this very moment, for me, salvation has meant a mystical point in time, held suspended in my past, an event that is catalogued into the magical moments that happen once in a lifetime.  It has become a way to answer the question “When did you become born again?”  I can barely recall the moment when I answered the beckoning of the preacher lady – whose words seemed strange and mystical – the promise of clean and new and bright and glorious. Believe me when I tell you that the moment that should be dearest to me has almost become lost in some of my darkest and most vulnerable hours.  My saving moment has not been the anchor that holds me under God’s wing. It was not the moment that I turned to when I looked into my daddy’s eyes and told him that the pain I experienced at his hand had left deep scars of mistrust and fear.  It was not the moment that came to the forefront of my mind as my growing up years, full of anger, despair, abuse and abandonment created a volcano of temper that smoldered and rumbled for years.   It was not the moment I clung to when I was at the lowest of my lows and the doctor’s prescription came in the form of a pill to numb my senses.  My saving moment has not been the moment that I have turned to when I have felt the blade of hurt cut, swift and deep and sure.  My saving moment, my First Love has not been the place that I have returned to when darkness has overwhelmed my senses.

So I come back to this question – Do. I. Want. To be saved?  There is pain involved in saving.  This seeing of beauty, when the ugly and mess smear across our lives, can come at a cost and the question must be asked, is it worth it?  As this question and the consequences of even facing (or asking) it have rumbled about the walls of my heart and my journal has become tear stained and I have had a Jacob-like wrestling match with God I have come to realize  that my heart is finally catching up with my head.  Meeting Jesus – it can bring tears as He turns over my appliqués of pain and begins to stitch them to the backdrop of my story.  Each piece that is trimmed and snipped, the rough edeges turned under and, with a needle that pierces the fabric of my soul, has become a tapestry that once complete will tell a rich and vibrant story.  Is this a story for which I can be grateful?

I sat today and read of another woman’s story – the one by the well – the Samaritan – the outcast, the scorn of the Jews in Jesus’ time.  There she is minding her morning chores and she happens upon a man, a Jew, sitting by her well and He engages her in conversation. I am sure her morning trip to the well did not include an inkling of thought that she would be offered a gift – a moment of salvation.  You know the story – you’ve heard it a thousand times at the knees of mothers and fathers – you’ve endured it in countless sermons.  It’s been analyzed, poked and prodded and trimmed down quite nicely into three succinct points and a conclusion – there may have even been an opportunity to answer your own call of salvation.  What amazes me the most about this story however, is that moment when she “went back to the village and told everyone, ‘Come and meet the man who told me everything I ever did! Can this be the Messiah?'”  John 4:20.  I almost missed it, my impatience with reading a familiar passage getting in the way of truth.  She what?  She went back to the village – this woman who has had 5 husbands and was living with a man who was not her husband – she went back to the village and proclaimed her meeting with Jesus – a Jew. 

Do you suppose, she was mocked, do you suppose gossip was on the lips of the town’s busybodies, do you suppose they were beginning to wonder whether she had finally lost her sanity?  I can imagine being in her mind for that brief microbe of time when she realized her own vulnerability and wished she could take back every word and just go about her life, this woman whose past had robbed her of any remaining credibility.  Her very existence in her town would have caused her pain and moments of darkness and isolation.  There was boldness in her approach, almost as if she had forgotten her past as she proclaimed the mercies of God.   And if you read  the rest of the passage,  her vulnerability, her opening up to pain and hearing, really soul-hearing these words – “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” John 4:10 – brought many Samaritans to understanding the grace and mercy of a loving Saviour.  Am I soul-hearing the words of salvation?  

Do I want to be saved?  Do I want Christ to stitch my life in such a way where I will see beauty in my pain?  Or, am I willing for this project to lay discarded, unfinished because I am afraid of the beauty that is my story?  Or is my memory too long with pain that I forget my Saving Grace?  He gave us Jesus. Jesus! Gave Him up for us all.  If we have only one memory, isn’t this one enough?  Why is this the memory I most often take for granted? He cut open the flesh of the God-Man and let the blood.  He washed our grime with the bloody grace.  He  drove the iron ore through His own vein.  Doesn’t that memory alone suffice?” – Ann Voskamp.

Do I want to be saved?   I am almost breathless in my answer, time has slowed and my soul has responded with, “it is well.”  My pain was laid bare at the foot of the cross, a messy, stained and ugly heap – laid bare at the feet of my Saviour and my soul proclaims, howls even, “it is well” – because His bloody side, the holes in His feet and hands covered my heap with grace.

There are no magical, mystical moments in salvation.  How can there be – there was no magic on the cross – only grace.

2 Comments

  1. Tonya- the honesty here is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart and bringing honor to Jesus in the process. Thankful for you!

    • Becky,

      Thank you so much for sharing my journey with me. Basking in God’s promises and loving Jesus right along with you friend.

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