Of Lawyers, Judges, and What’s On Your Back
“I wish I’d never done it,” she said, describing a post-college year of late-night dance clubs, too much alcohol, and men with unfamiliar names the next morning. Regret brimmed up and over her eyelashes now, and she twisted her blonde hair absentmindedly.
|Photo: David, Creative Commons, cc license|
We hugged in the crowded auditorium. I knew this woman, knew her heart, and knew that her history no longer defined her. It never really had, actually.
But we are the ones who pick up and slap labels on ourselves the fastest, the hardest. I do this. You do too. God lavishes us with forgiveness, compassionate understanding, and love, while we trail behind, dragging our feet and not quite believing he means what he says.
I’ve been reading the biblical book of Romans, where Paul marshals his arguments like a young John Grisham. In lean hard prose, Paul strips away any credentials religious people were scrambling for to prove their morality, and he shreds any excuses the irreligious grabbed as reasons for not getting to know the God of the universe.
On equal footing before the God of the world, loved deeply by the Creator who knows their names, humankind’s verdict is clear, concise.
“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace…” (Romans 3:22-24).
Whether you are ragged with regrets or worn out from scrambling to feel like a good person, we stand on equal footing before the God who loves us. In the week after Easter, we stand before a judge who says, “I’ve paid that price, paid the fine, paid the fee. Do you accept this gift?”
Labels are gone. Histories don’t define us. They never have. The God of the world stands waiting…