December 26, 2011

It Was There

It was there that I met Him.

He found me at the place where every day I was reminded of what humiliation and shame were.  At the well where I drew water, always by myself, was a Man. It was almost as if He were waiting for me there, with such a calm patience that my self-pity dried up like desert dust.

He asked for a drink and I cringed. I expected the familiar, the usual insult and the accusing stare. Or perhaps He was there to be added to my list, to become just another man in my line-up.

One look into His eyes told a different story. In those dark eyes I saw something I’d never seen before. It went beyond looking at what I had done, or worse, who I had allowed myself to become. Oh, He saw my broken past, my filthy heart, my sin-sick hopelessness. But He did not see a shamed woman, scorned by her people and stained with mistakes. He didn’t see a Samaritan to be despised and looked down upon. No, in His eyes, with the loving out-look of a Father, He saw a being formed with His own hands, a soul who had chosen to sin against Him. And He knew  – all of it. Such naked shame before God I felt, all because of this nameless Man sitting at the well.  Though my heart was laid bare, exposed, there was a promise in His mannerism. It seemed that He named my disease because He also knew the cure.

Christ, Messiah, the long-awaited and rumored One had stopped on His world-saving journey to speak to me. He sat at this well that had been a source of degradation and embarrassment and promised to a lowly sinner a new start.
Tears filled my eyes as He offered me water from the everlasting fountain. My hands shook with fearful remorse over my wickedness and with anticipation of renewal. That water pot, cracked and heavy, fell to the dust as I grasped hold of salvation. This Jesus, who knew every ounce of my filthy life, had the power in Him to not only speak to me, to offer me eternity, but found in Him the power to forgive.

His disciples came then with their whispers and their confused looks, but for once, I did not care. Their questions didn’t sting, their disdain did not hurt. No, for the first time in a long time, a smile spread across a mouth that had spoken so much guile, had deceived so many. For now, my lips would only speak of and praise that precious name – Jesus! What a friend for sinners! Jesus, the lover of my soul!

•  John 4: 1 - 42 •

"Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

December 8, 2011

Honey French Dressing

One fancy Christmas dinner + white tablecloth + a clumsy me = a recipe for embarrassment and a lesson learned.

Yes, that's me. The girl who is invited to a fabulously fancy Christmas dinner at a historic mansion. The girl who attempts to delicately pour Honey French dressing on to her bowl of perfectly arranged salad and spills. Granted, it was a quiet spill, no one besides the girl sitting next to me really noticed that a giant orange sticky puddle had collected next to my plate in the starch white tablecloth. My face probably matched the color of that horrendous looking ooze. After blinking at said puddle a few times, I quickly stuck my program for the evening over it. To my dismay, the dressing immediately soaked through the list of musicians and speakers, leaving their names blurred with that blasted French dressing.

As a side note, I never eat French dressing. However, in the spirit of the evening, I'd decided to try it. Never again, French dressing, never again!

Anyway, the dear friend sitting next to me gave a polite giggle as I fumbled for her teacup and saucer to set on top of that paper program that was now sopping with Honey French. Needless to say, I sent up a selfish prayer that I would be able to leave the building before whomever found their how-ever-expensive white tablecloth marred with such a hideous orange stain. Of course, this was not my only infraction for the evening, but definitely the most prominent, and certainly the most embarrassing to myself.

I was mortified as my friend finished drinking her tea. I no doubt looked sallow as the waitress reached down to lift up that teacup to cart it, and it's saucer, back to the kitchen. For a split second, I thought of snatching it from her hand and setting it back over that stain. Or better yet, sticking my nose in the air and pretending I had never seen that sticky orange goo before in my life. Instead, I sputtered through a quick explanation to the waitress, and thanked her in my head for at least leaving the bulletin over the stain so it wasn't brightly (excruciatingly) obvious to all of the other well-dressed ladies at my table. With a sigh, I wagged a finger at the incriminating stain and attempted to enjoy the rest of the program without looking at it glowing in the Christmas light.  Only thing to do was smile through the mortifying mess it had made of me.

All in all, I find it rather amusing now. How we let the little thing affect us so much! Even more so, that stain so much is a representative of our sin. In no way am I saying that spilling anything on accident is a sin, but rather, my desperate panic to attempt to cover that stain is so similar to our own covering of sin. We want to make sure no one sees that mistake, no one knows that we have sullied the beautiful, saved life that the Lord has given us. But of course, the Honey French of sin always seeps through and unless we own up and confess it, it will continue to soak into every aspect of our lives.  The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy!”  Confess it, forsake it, and He will take care of it.

So this Christmas season, keep your sin confessed up before the Saviour and at all costs, avoid Honey French Dressing.

- Beth