Yesterday, I was purchasing six yards of burlap at a local store when a lady working in the fabric department posed the question, “What are you going to do with all this burlap?” I never would’ve thought that such a purchase would promote such interest, but from that question (after answering it’s for the stable frame for our nativity play at church), we got into a deep conversation about forgiveness, change, lifestyle and acceptance.
I was befuddled to learn she was a Christian after she told me about a small new church in a small town in Texas that is working with addicts. She continued to tell me about her granddaughter’s interaction with the new pastor and his outreaching church. That he is welcoming to addicts, helps them serve in the community, in the church, around other people. And that these addicts while accepting Christ, are still addicts (and she wasn’t okay with this, any of it actually).
I thought, “this man that God placed in this town was giving HOPE and LOVE to these people that maybe had be written off by more people than they knew.”
I was almost offended at her closed-mindedness about it.
But I was more confused that she would think that someone would accept Christ and then suddenly, overnight it seems, would be free of addiction. I kept reemphasizing that they, too, are human. Giving our hearts to Christ doesn’t mean we lose our human weaknesses, it means we put our faith that Jesus will help us battle those weaknesses.
Before I was going to completely knock her off her judgmental rocker, I spat out of my mouth that I am a former addict. She drew in a breath of disdain and unexpectedness. It shocked her. I don’t look like an addict. I certainly don’t act like one (anymore). And I admitted in public to her face that Christ saved me from my addiction. BUT and this is a big BUT, my human nature prevented me from cleaning my act up over night.
I think this woman has a good heart. I didn’t get any ill feelings or intent from her, except that she couldn’t understand that in this small town in Texas, these addicts were being given second chances.
Doctors are for the sick, and so is Jesus. Our pretty paper wrapped lives may hide our addictions, weaknesses, thoughts, sick hearts, sick minds, and bad habits from other people. But it doesn’t hide anything from Jesus.
And HE LOVES US ANYWAY!!!
He sees right past the wrapping paper, right to the core of who we are. He sees right through the addictions, the bad choices, the constant human struggle to be righteous, and HE LOVES US STILL!
Jesus was born because we (humans) were/are imperfect. He was born because we needed a lamb. He was born to give us ALL that chance as eternal life.
Don’t think that because someone is all wrapped up in pretty paper, they are perfect. Because if you do, when they fail, you will feel let down. You will judge them (even if you say you won’t). You will feel, unfortunately, betrayed. Don’t think that because someone is homeless, has poor hygiene, poor health, that they are poor in spirit because they might be the most connected to Jesus people you will ever meet.
And never doubt when God places disciples in little drug ridden towns like in Texas to reach out to those lost ones. His plan is perfect. He will reach those willing in heart, mind and spirit.
I was an addict when I accepted Jesus. I didn’t look like one. I was an addict after I was baptized. I was saved by Jesus. And I will never forget that He changed me, over night, one night at a time!