Invitation To The Stained
There is a place, a room where humanity and divinity are constantly colliding. Many of us stand at the door, peeking in through the cracks, the shafts of light hitting our faces, certain that we are not invited, not welcome. Every time the door opens for others, we stand aside, yearning to join them but just so sure we are not welcome. They that enter look less stained, less imperfect. They seem comfortable with the light, despite the intensity of it.
We hang our head in defeat, shoulders slumped in sorrow.
The door shuts behind those that choose to go in, and we continue to peek through the slits in the door, continue to listen to the voices of those who have entered; laughing, singing, dancing...
so much freedom.
The door is constantly opened, people constantly entering in. Some come with beaming smiles, joy radiating from their faces. Some come dancing and singing, their feet light as feathers. Some come weeping, overwhelmed at the grandeur of it all. Some come quietly, unable to speak for the sense of greatness this place evokes.
They all come wearing white robes, spotless white robes.
We stand back, lest our dirt stain their white garments. The more we see enter in, the less worthy we feel, the less hope we have that we will ever be enough. Still, though, we stand at that door, watching the others enter. Watching, wanting...
Waiting for the moment when we feel clean enough, strong enough, worthy enough to enter. Oh, but the stains, the darkness. How? How do the others go in stain free, full of light? We are desperate to know. How do they make the stains go away?
Suddenly, there is silence coming from the room, beyond those massive doors. We, each of us standing outside, we look around, confused, wondering why the celebration would cease. We feel something then...
We try to shield ourselves from the wind that blows these doors open with its force. With it comes the presence of a man. Where did he come from? He stands before us, all of us standing outside that door, and he is a sight to behold. The only word any of us can think up in our minds is perfection.
This is the face of perfection.
He extends hands to us, revealing scarred palms, and all strength goes out of our bodies. We find ourselves on our knees, weak in the presence of this man.
Who is he?
He reaches down, and one by one takes the hands of us...those without the strength to stand and enter. With the taking of his hand, something miraculous takes place. Light, pure unhindered light, fills our being. We try to hide our face, try to turn from it, but that scarred hand will not release its hold. So, because we cannot help it, we look into his face. Eyes of crystal, they pierce through us, shedding every last bit of darkness in our souls. His smile, it makes us weep with relief, for it reveals a depth of understanding we have never seen in someone before. He steps back, looks at our garments, and for a moment we are afraid. Surely he sees the stains, the dirt. Surely he will let go now that he sees.
He doesn't though.
Instead, he breathes on us, and with one breath, our garments are transformed. With one breath our garments become white as snow. Some of us fall to our knees weeping, others shout with joy as we all realize we have been made clean, like those beyond these massive doors.
The man with the scars, he has made us worthy to enter.
Hope propels our feet forward and we enter this room, this place we have stayed out of for fear that we would not measure up. In it is a presence we cannot fathom, but know we cannot be without. In it is a sea of people, all wearing white. This man, he enters with us and the room erupts with shouts of joy as he walks among us, laughing and rejoicing alongside us. So much light fills this place. Prisms of colors we've never witnessed dance around him, so much so that he looks to be on fire..a fire we can touch without being scorched.
For so long, we stayed just outside this place, afraid we could never be enough, afraid we were not invited. Now, we cannot remember what it was that kept us away for the hope that fills every bit of us. We see, as we join the mass of others, that they must have thought the same thing, once. They must have stood outside this door at one time, wishing they were enough to enter, wishing they were welcome in this place. We all see now that we were always invited, always welcome into this place. It was him we waited for. It was him we needed to make us worthy. Our garments are spotless, our souls are filled with light because of him.
The man with eyes of crystal and scarred palms, he has made us each clean enough to enter...
He has made each of us worthy to enter...
Jesus answered, "I am the way the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6