I walked into a bare bones building that is soon to be my new church. We had all come to write verses on it’s innards, so that maybe it’s outside would reflect what’s it’s insides were covered with.
I have long harbored a grudge towards the Church who has hurt me and the people I love, so I wasn’t sure how I would feel, but the air was sweetly heavy with purpose. So much so that I was tempted to slide off my sandals, for the ground, cold, concrete, littered with dust and wood shavings, was holy.
I walked from room to room, with my fat magic marker, my spirit willing this place to become everything I had always dreamed of in a church. In the sanctuary, I wrote “Make us of one mind, Father” and reminded God of I Peter 3:8, pressing my palms to the floor as an act of supplication. In the high school gathering place, I wrote 1 Timothy 4:12, only to look up and see 1 Timothy 4:12 right next to it, my heart comforted to know we were all praying and hoping the same things. In the children’s area, I wrote “Let the children come…” and tears fell down my cheeks as I prayed for my own child, that he would never be hindered, and that he would always know the Kingdom of God belongs to him. Lastly, I went to the First Step room where I scrawled one final prayer on the ground. “Be still my heart… Psalm 37:7” a prayer for nervous believers with trembling hands starting their journey at a new church, or maybe even with God for the very first time. What a scary, holy place that room will become, the doors a red sea.
Then I looked around. Taking in the potential energy. Knowing in my heart that a great many woundings and a great many healing would take place within these walls. The bad will always flavor the good. The imperfect reality of God’s fallen creation will always be known with every perfect gift we are blessed to give.
And for the first time in a long time, it was okay. More than okay even… good.
Because within my very own body, the good and the bad, the perfect and the imperfect, they live together. The people I have hurt, and the people I have helped heal, haunt and delight me at the very same time. And though I am unworthy, the chief of sinners, God’s Grace crashes over me every single hour. Every single minute. Every single second of my existence, and such a Grace I will never again lay down.
If I, an imperfect creation made perfect through the blood of the lamb, live so profoundly in God’s grace, who am I to withhold the very same towards Christ’s broken, beautiful, Bride, whom I love and am a part of?
Bride of Christ, you will delight me and you will leave me hopeless in the very same breath. Grace to you. You will draw in new, then cast them out a second later. Grace to you. You will stumble over your words, that give life, and bring death. Grace to you. You will snap shut then fling open the gates of hell. Grace to you.
And one day our Bridegroom will return, we will wring our hands together, knowing that we are both completely unworthy, and fully righteous.
And He will lift our veil, and whisper “Grace to you…”