Thursday, August 23, 2012

I'm not worthy....

There was a post on the Mom's group I'm part of on Facebook about abusive husbands and the long term fall-out around that kind of violence.  And it got me to thinking and remembering and reflecting on an experience from my college days.

The summer between my sophomore and junior years at Earlham, my bestie at the time, Sarah and I went on an adventure in Brazil.  We had planned on spending the whole summer trekking around the mountains and the Amazon.  And then our plans took a sharp left turn. 

We were staying in a house on the side of a mountain outside of a smallish town.  It was lovely - overlooking the ocean, quiet and secluded.  And in our youth and foolishness, I suppose that it never really occurred to us that it was also a dangerous choice.  One night, we were startled by noise in the upstairs bathroom and went to investigate.  And were robbed at knife-point.  It was beyond anything that the word terrifying can convey.  I will never forget certain moments of that night - there are perfectly preserved snapshots in my mind and heart. 

I was thinking about the days and weeks after that night and my struggle to come back into myself and step out of the deep fear that gripped my soul back into normalcy when it struck me that it had literally been years since I had thanked my God for preserving my life and the life of my friend that night. 

We did not live through that by our own strength or wits (we were too scared to even pee our pants).....we were spared from death and injury by nothing other than God's grace and mercy.  It wasn't fate or good luck or anything other than the Lord Jesus' hand staying the Enemy from destroying us. 

And had I not been taking a shower in the world's smallest shower stall, I would have hit my knees in joyful thanksgiving.  Instead I threw my hands to the sky and praised my Jesus for my life. 

Thank you Lord for the gift of my life.
Thank you Lord for the gift of my life.
And again...
Thank you Lord for the gift of my life.

And I wept tears of gratitude, humbled that the King of Heaven remembered me and Sarah in our distress.

And I prayed - Lord, help me be worthy of the gift of my life.
And instantly, I knew.  I knew that that prayer was wrong.  It was a wet blanket thrown over the joy of true gratitude.

What, Lord?  What is wrong? 

And then the voice of my Savior spoken into the deep and sad and angry and fearful places of my heart:  Mary, do you still not understand?  You are worthy.  YOU ARE WORTHY.  I have already made you so.  You are worthy of the gift of not only your life - but you are worthy of the gift of my life.  You have been worthy since I knew you before time began.  Now do you see?  You are worthy.

Crushed.  Humbled.  Hopeful.  Glimpsing God's goodness and mercy.  I wept tears of gratitude that perhaps I understood a little.

And a new prayer.  Lord, help me to truly rejoice in the gift of my life.  Help me to rejoice. 

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