In the business of forgiveness.

“My child, your sins are forgiven.”

He says it & I’m breathless, every sort of unease slipping in through this skin. My fingers dance together in awkward tango, eyes feeling the tides growing ever more closely to the shores of my lids, dams only promising to contain a little more. You’re pushing it.

No, no, that’s not what he said though. He made no mention of the line in the sand, & he made no gesture to how close you’ve come to that line. He didn’t scowl, cross his arms, or stomp his feet.

“My child, your sins are forgiven.”

Clearly, he’s not in this for what I have to offer, nor my current capacity to perform to his standards. Obviously, he’s not looking at me as a strong warrior who is going to serve him well.

How could that be his mind set when I look down & see a girl who isn’t even on her own side half the time, a girl who sees leaky lungs that scream at the mere knowledge that someone is hiding behind a door with the intent to scare her?

He picked me. He picks me every day. I am loved. I am worth it.

“My child, your sins are forgiven.”
& that was the end of that.

Because God
loved humans
that he sent his son
to be perfection for the imperfect.
(ahem. thats you.)

When he died, he thought of you. You were a part of the plan the same way a five year old is part of the plan on Christmas morning. The child’s parents buy gifts for that exact five year old child to use the gifts. The five year old’s part on Christmas morning isn’t to drive to the store & purchase a diamond ring for their mother & a rolex for their father. Heaven’s no. That would be ridiculous, because the child has nothing to offer that could measure up. The child has no job, no driver’s license, not even a sense of direction. But the child is still expected to receive the gifts & play with the gifts & put the gifts to good use. The parent fully knows the state of the giving when he or she is giving.

& yet, they give. & so does God.

I read through the story of the Jesus healing the paralytic (Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26; Matthew 9:1-8) multiple times, mind stuck on the last line, when Jesus turns to the man who couldn’t even help himself & heals him with the simplicity of, “Son, your sins are forgiven,” & I think,

What if he had kept laying on that mat? What good would it have done?

But Jesus said get up & walk.

& what if she had been unable to forgive herself for having sex with the man to whom no vows were exchanged? (see John 8)

But Jesus said go & sin no more.

He places us in motion, calling us to step out of our old clothes & wear the new clothes he’s provided. You are a new creation! The old has passed away, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17) He says to, therefore, rid yourselves of the garbage, because it doesn’t fit you any more. You’ve outgrown it, sweet child. You are much, much more. You are running, you are wild, & you are free. You are no longer held by the weight of the way his hands felt along your spine or the wounds that still hover over your wrists, reminding you of past battles lost. It’s an easy trap, keeping your eyes in the rearview mirror, paralyzed by your imperfect past. But the past doesn’t fit you anymore, love. You’ve been made new. My child, need I remind you that your sins are forgiven? You are free. Go. Move. Get up, dear. Walk.

He’s moved on & we are stuck in the apologizing phase, & he’s over it & we’re still making eyes with the past. He’s made us new, & we’re picking up the old garbage bag & slinging it over our shoulder as if it belonged. Because we don’t get his grace & mercy the way he does. He says, “You want to see my mercy? Here it is.” & the paralyzed man stands up, rolls up the mat he was laying on, & walks home.

No phases. Nothing gradual. This was it. It was finished.

& what if we believed? Who would we allow ourselves to date? What friends would we allow to consume our time? How would we treat others? How would we forgive? How would we love ourselves?

My love, your sins are forgiven. Get up. Walk.

It’s your turn, love. Break the silence. Spill your guts.

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