If you took a walk by the fields near my house, you’d be greeted with many grazers. In all my daydreams about what this new village life would look like, I definitely did not imagine these grazers to be cats. Yes, cats. And before you say anything, I’m well aware cats do not, in fact, graze on grass so oddly abudant this time of year. They lie there in wait for creatures I am yet to meet. But yet, this would be your view and I am sure you would chuckle at first glance before, like me, trying to (unsuccessfully) befriend them. Perhaps it is the unusualness of this situation that seems so amusing.
And in these uncertain times, these cat overlords of the green riverside expanses seem also be a symbol of sanity. The tabbies, the black cats, the milk colored cats with chocolate faces – all wordlessly and intently focused on exactly this moment. It is a lesson I am trying so desperately to learn. I remind myself of it as I cross the fields to the riverside. It is a lesson that doesn’t stay very long; I have already moved on in my mind from this village and this lesson to so many other places.
And there I am suddenly – 18 years old, innocent, naive, with starstruck eyes. A world always just out of reach of her fingertips, but she swears her hands are still not done growing. I blink a little, and walking down that riverside is the 18 year old aged a few more years. She has met a friend. They have become sisters. She knows now how to choose to know love, the feeling. And yet moments later, as if to finish this hastily drawn circle through time, I am myself, all of my years firmly in my hands; a new village girl with the fields of herself ploughed through and through.
And though my feet walk through the fallen leaves, damp from the river spray, and my mind walks through this autumnal garden of memories, my mistakes still stay shining.
Little girl, my mistakes are sterile hospital gown white against this blood red arena of their consequences. They have bitten nails to stubs over the seemingly impending guillotine crash of judgement they wait for. They burn inside themselves, with enough force to set a concert hall alight; they condemn every beautiful instrument singing praise to eternal silence.
And if not my mistakes, then my doubts. They are the roots my feet grow into the concrete – who said only dandelions and weeds are chained here? They reach through all the cracks I left for the light to get through. They reach through with ice pick hands to crush these daisy bright vases of the hope I carried inside me.
And if not my doubts, then my fears. They call to me, soft siren of pessimism and terror singing a demon’s lullaby. Fear is soft, a waterfall of darkness. It covers with ease sometimes these candles of hope I struggle to keep alive on my own. It is a devil’s promise of safety, colorful as the sunset – it pulls me into nightfall with ease.
And if not my fears, then my anxiety. And if not my anxiety, then my laziness. And if not my laziness, then my weakness. And if not my weakness, then every other ugly thing still not yet dead in this life.
I do not doubt you will feel it too. I am sorry that in this one precious life, I could not give to you the peace and guiltlessness of purity and innocence. And yet I also know I never could. We are all sinners, all falling a ocean short and then some more of the grace of God.
But I do want you to remember: you are, in every case, a miracle. You, with your own suitcase of doubts, of mistakes, of fears, of anxieties, of every ugly thing – you are still a miracle.
That day you stepped into the salvation Christ offered you, into the freedom bought by grace stretched as wide as they sky, that day you were born again to be miracle. Yes, I know God is still busy making you into the spitting image of Christ so when you look in the mirror you can only behold the Son, the brightness of His glory. And yet today when you stare at yourself in this mercury glass, you see all the humanity, all the self, all the ugly, all waiting to be perfected.
I promise you, little girl, you get there one day. Christ does not lie. But until you do reach that heavenly abode, until you get home, until you are fully transformed on this side of heaven, you aren’t any less of a miracle. You still are walking, talking, testimony. Your lips still sing of His praise when they feel like they do not take His name enough. Your hands still hands of peace, hands extending healing, hands working out love, His hands on this desperate earth. You feet still those of a messenger of hope; they are still running with this gospel of grace when you feel like you’re standing still. You are a miracle because the Miraculous has become one with you.
And there will be many times over where you feel as though you’re falling short of whatever ideal Christian life you’re chasing. You can feel like you’re not repenting enough, like youre not enough heartbroken over your own sin, like you spend too much time wallowing in your mistakes, like you still want to keep sinning, like you are the worst of all sinners because of it. I feel it too. And yet, my friend, none of it matters.
You have given your life to Christ, and you don’t get it back no more. And He has saved you. He came down from heaven knowing all of you – your beautiful and your ugly, your past, present, future sinfulness that placed Him on that cross. He saved all of you. And He has a plan for you. Not just perfect you, but you with your past and present and your future – the glowing and the unkempt. I’m not here to tell you why this happened, why you fell. But the most comforting truth is that your feelings won’t ever change His plans, His love for you, or His truth about who you are now in Christ.
As for me, I’ve walked home already, nodding in recognition to the cats in the field yet again. They ignored me still. I walked home the same kind of miracle I walked there as.
You too, little girl. You do not need to wonder if you are ever good enough to be where you are and to be used by God and to be His, because the truth is that on your own, you’re not. But in looking at your past and the parts of your present still to be changed, don’t forget to also notice that you are new creation; you are holy, heart cleansed with blood and body washed pure with water; you have already become His – there was and is no proving necessary. And someone being in all ways human has never stopped God from using a single person in the Bible, least of all His Son, so why must it change with you?
This life has never been about you, my friend. It has never been about you in your strength and in your weakness. It has always been about the Divine in you, working out what man looks and calls supernatural, unto the glory of the Creator. Moses walked into Midian a man objectively suited to be Savior – strong, (probably handsome,) self-confident. He left old, stammering, and totally unsure of himself. But what He left with was the power of God. And this man, this new man fresh out of Midian, he was used to save a nation. And in the very place of his weakness, God’s power was perfectly displayed.
So it will be with you. I am sure. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, and let the things of the world – let your conciousness of your sin, of your doubts, of your fears, of your anxiety – let them fall to the way side. This life is yet long and unexpected and all kinds of beautiful. There are moments you will wish you could take back, and lessons you wouldn’t have learnt otherwise. You will every day look a little more like Christ until you are perfectly like Him on the day He returns.
Until then, little girl, you are, in every case, a miracle. And this world can tell, even if you can’t. I definitely can.
for my friend, j.k.u.