Why I Love Christ
January 24, 2013 § 4 Comments
Several months ago, Terri and Vickie, two members from my church came by to look at a piece of art I put together for the church. As soon as they arrived, I wished I hadn’t offered it, not because I wanted to keep it but because I felt extremely vulnerable and I hated that I had put them in a position of telling me their thoughts on something they may not like. I was sure to fill in the spaces in case they didn’t know what to say in view of the overwhelming 60×72 abstraction of color and numbers and lines leaning against the piano.
Technique’s not perfect, I would say – subject matter convoluted – overall visual attractiveness definitely a matter of opinion.
It occurred to me how I was looking for my worth in the church – in art – in people. That is why Jesus Christ is so attractive to me. I find my approval through Him. I can cast all my shortcomings on Him – all my doubt, all my insecurities. He can take it – He doesn’t buckle – He doesn’t second guess – He doesn’t fail – He is trustworthy.
The thought of being absorbed into Him is essentially the way I want to yield.
I also love His holiness. And here’s the thing, I don’t love His holiness because of any good in me to recognize something holy and not by any standard I have applied in my life – I love His holiness because of something He put in me that wasn’t there before.
Myke and I had watched a movie the other night which to Myke, was just another comedy, but for me, touched on everything I hate.
Twelve years ago, God began a work in me that would not tolerate vulgarity or mockery, verbal pornography and explicit images, which are all so pervasive in so many movies. This is not something I asked God to do – at least, not that I knew. I didn’t know or think there was anything more to a comedy than just being a comedy. I didn’t know or think how looking and listening to certain images, words, or ideas defiled me. I didn’t feel the sting against my spirit before I knew Christ.
When I look to Christ, I won’t see something disgusting or violent or immoral – there are no corners around which I couldn’t see Him. Although He was hanged on a cross, hardly recognizable due to the severity of His beating – it is the one act of violence that does not prevail. It is the one act of violence for which I am thankful.
That is how I want to yield – not locked down in heart but to lean into Him because He is holy and able to guard me, to rescue me from vile things. He is my God. Because of the work He does in my heart, I desire goodness, loveliness, kindness, gentleness.
I know there is death and all things invasive and cruel and immoral in the world. I know that I was once a part of these things. The times I wasn’t seeking them out, I wasn’t turning away from them either. And as if I couldn’t get my fill in the fact that they are tragic enough in themselves, I made it a point to glorify, even exploit certain behaviors and images in myself and found my entertainment in them.
I hate vulgarity. I hate the swiftness of our feet, our spongy eyes, thirsty as dust! What is there to love except that God loved us? I can only understand it in the way I feel mercy for someone or something caught up in a power greater than themselves but then how angry I feel at the behaviors that are born as a result.
But because of Christ, I won’t be overcome with bitterness. And again, let me clarify, that is not a declaration I make by my own stubborn will to rise above. I won’t be overcome because Christ has overcome the world and I just happen to believe Him. Because of Christ, I still love – I love jealously; I grieve deeply because I love. Only Christ gives me this capacity – otherwise I would sink into nothing. I would rather be pulled apart and dissolved then to live under the bonds of sin, had God not been my help.
My tendency always is to turn inward, but God’s light penetrates my dark little heart, anchors into the foundation and enables me to remember hope, to gird up patience, to press on, to reach out, to pull in, to love.