“The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’”
God in some profound way, accommodates Himself to your ‘sickness.’ He will turn away from you.
We find that He has this beautiful quality about Him–He becomes quite tender and gentle around any spiritual disease. He gravitates to the broken ones. His love for sinners is a well-established fact we must consider frequently.
In his book Mortal Lessons (Touchstone Books, 1987) physician Richard Selzer describes a scene in a hospital room after he had performed surgery on a young woman’s face:
“I stand by the bed where the young woman lies. . . her face, postoperative . . . her mouth twisted in palsy . . . clownish. A tiny twig of the facial nerve, one of the muscles of her mouth, has been severed. She will be that way from now on. I had followed with religious fervor the curve of her flesh, I promise you that. Nevertheless, to remove the tumor in her cheek, I had cut this little nerve. Her young husband is in the room. He stands on the opposite side of the bed, and together they seem to be in a world all their own in the evening lamplight . . . isolated from me . . private.”
“Who are they? I ask myself . . .
“He and this wry mouth I have made, who gaze at and touch each other so generously. The young woman speaks. “Will my mouth always be like this?” she asks. “Yes,” I say, “it will. It is because the nerve was cut.” She nods and is silent. But the young man smiles. “I like it,” he says, “it’s kind of cute.” All at once, I know who he is.”
“I understand, and I lower my gaze.”
“One is not bold in an encounter with the divine. Unmindful, he bends to kiss her crooked mouth, and I am so close I can see how he twists his own lips to accommodate to hers. . . to show her that their kiss still works.”
This is who Jesus has always been to you.
And if you think you are getting to be a great kisser or are looking desirable, I feel sorry for you. For it’s He who wraps himself around our hurts, our brokenness, and our ugly, our ever-present sin.
Those of you who want to draw big, dark lines between my humanity and my sin, go right ahead, but I’m not joining you. And I don’t really understand you.
I need Jesus so much to love me like I really am: brokenness, memories, wounds, sins, addictions, lies, death, fear….all of it. (Take all it, Lord Jesus.) If I don’t present this broken, messed up person to Jesus, my faith is dishonest, and my understanding of it will become a way of continuing the ruse and pretense of being “good.”
God truly loves the unlovely.
He is wildly passionate about those who have been disfigured by sin. Those who turn with pretense find a sort of ‘spiritual Botox’ that can only hide their blemishes. But coming to him with all we can muster we’ll find healing and acceptance.
You see, you’re the young woman in this story. The kisses of your Savior are yours. Unconditionally. And forever.
For some reason, He delights in kissing crooked lips.