Wednesday, October 10, 2007
the prostitute and the church lady
OK, well she probably wasn't a prostitute. They at least get paid for their services, she probably gave her body in exchange for food or maybe a warm place to sleep at night. But for 27 years Bonnie lived on the streets, surviving in a dangerous world I can't even imagine.
Jesus asked her one night if He could have her heart, and Bonnie, tired of her never-ending struggles, said OK.
And He took her by the hand and led her into the Throne Room of Grace, where she's lived happily ever after.
She shed her old identity like a snake sheds its skin and clothed herself in His righteousness. She doesn't need counseling to heal the abuses of the past--or recovery groups to help free her from addictions. She swallowed the Truth Jesus offered her hook, line and sinker--and it has set her free, indeed.
She knows she's His Bride. She knows who her Daddy is.
I know all this, because Bonnie sat beside me at Bible study last night. We were talking about how Christians wear masks because we think we need to be perfect. We lamented the fact that we all struggled to realize and live in His grace.
Except for Bonnie. She looked at us like we were all a bit looney.
"I'm not perfect--I screw up a lot--but I just crawl up on His lap and let Him love me," she told us. "I didn't have anything to offer when I came to Him--and don't now--He just loves me because I'm His daughter."
Carol, who'd grown up in the church, couldn't grasp Bonnie's words.
"I've just always felt such expectations--such high standards to live up to," Carol said. "I never feel like I'm quite good enough to draw near to Him. How is it that you understand His grace so well?"
Bonnie thought for a minute, then replied, "Ya know that prostitute that Jesus talked to? He told her that because she was forgiven so much, she would love much. I'm telling you, that's me! He loves me and I love Him!"
After our study was over, I chatted with Bonnie for a few minutes. I thanked her for sharing her beautiful, grace-filled heart with us.
"Oh, I just want to hug the stuffings out of that Carol," said Bonnie, shaking her head as we watched Carol head for the door. "And make her get how much God loves her! But I guess only He can do that . . ."
That's true, I reflected on the drive home. But why is it that some learn that truth so much quicker than others?