When you have reached the end of yourself. When you have failed as badly as you can fail. When you have made a mess of things. When you have made all the wrong choices, of your own free will, and you are confronted with the consequences of your actions. When you have sinned willfully, and fallen into the addiction that you have been fighting for too long. When you are in the sad and alone place, and there is nobody, not even a loved one that can comfort you, because they really can’t understand what is eating you. There is Jesus.
He will not pass by a sinner who calls out to Him. He will not walk past the broken without touching them. He cannot ignore them, because He cannot deny Himself. God is love.
I have been there at the very end of myself. Self loathing. Self hating. Despairing. At that time, you are ripe for a visitation from the Son of Man. He is a Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief. He has been with the murderers, the addicts, the losers, the self-absorbed, the hedonists, the impure and the fools. He knows their company well, and they love Him. Yes, they love Him, because they know that He was, and is their only friend when everyone else abandons them.
I was on my face, seeking Him. Hope was gone. I came to Him as I was. In spite of my wretchedness, in spite of my pride, in spite of my cluelessness, in spite of my crimes, in spite of my own lies to myself and others, He came. I had put Him at the end of my list. I tried everything else first. He is used to this, and welcomes the bottom spot. He isn’t too proud to consort with the whores, the drunks, the losers, the outcasts, and the religious people who are finally getting a clue about who God really is. He reached out and touched me. I sensed His nearness, and His presence as clearly as I have felt anything. I knew His hand was on me. He spoke to me, and I knew. I knew. I knew I was loved. And that there is hope. There is New Life. There is a New Day tomorrow. He is the God of the Second Chance. I was baptized in tears and wept for the awareness of my best friend. I will never forget Him, oh the merciful Son of God.
Reach out even now. He will come to you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. There is forgiveness, hope, and cleansing in Jesus, even this night. This dark night of your soul.
And these sinners who find love and acceptance at the feet of Jesus are His Church. And He is not ashamed of them.
Thanks be to God!