By Cindy Koch –
I watched your face when I said that to you. Your eyes widen just a little. Your chin shifts back as the syllables sink in. You heard me, but it seems like the words must mean something else. We are better than what? What is she really saying here? You look right and left wondering if anyone else is listening. Consciously the muscles in your face try to relax. You try to take a deep breath and attempt to understand what I really said, but I can still see the exposed panic in your eyes.
You search your memories, and not-so-distant disappointments come to the surface. You try to remember the good, but you keep recalling the bad. The failures flood over you, making you a little sick. We are better than what? She knows. You can’t stop the trickling reel of scenes, each one dredging deeper and deeper into your forgotten, dark places. The foggy sea of your mind has begun to clear, and you realize the endless depth of experience where you have been drowning this whole time.
Your breath feels shallow, but you place the mask of calm over your hidden gasp for life, patiently suffocating because there seems to be no way out. Even though you know how very bad this is, that you are gargling the cup of death, you keep treading. We are better than what? Whatever it is, I can’t do it. You are only slightly above the surface, ready to give up.
If you were already strong, you could pull yourself out. If you had a glimmer of good, you could do the right thing. If you weren’t choking on all the unanswered questions, you could float along and just enjoy. But, here the shadows wash away. You see the truth. There is no pretending anymore. Dead.
But we are better than that. I know who you really are.
I know who you are—not because I can see the murderous and adulterous things you have done. I know who you are—not because I’m impressed with your put-together life. I know who you are because I heard what a Savior did to you.
So, this is not a call to swim faster or make yourself stronger. This is not an opportunity to cleanse your sin. This is not an encouragement to try harder. You are so far past that. Actually, you never really had the chance. But I know what has made you better. And it wasn’t anything you could do.
God stepped on the dust and breathes life into your ears. He smothered you with water, marking His name on your forehead and your heart. Even though you can’t survive these waves of temptation and sin, he once-and-for-all silenced the storm when He rose from the dead. Now today, He feeds you His body and His blood to assure you that you are better than this, not because you have done anything worthy of His praise. Not even because you might be better in the future. We are better than that because He was better for us. Even now He uses created stuff to show us that He alone took care of everything.
Water. Body. Bread. Blood. Wine. Word. Here He promised to touch you with eternal life. Every time these gifts meet your ears, head, lips, tongue, be comforted; He keeps His promises, no matter what you have done. You can be completely sure.
Ladies, we are better than that.